Snack Sales Up 11% In First Half Of 2022


Washington — Total snack sales during the first half of 2022 increased by 11 percent in the multi-outlet plus convenience stores universe, according to data from Information Resources, Inc. (IRI). First-half sales reached $36.7 billion, which represents an increase of 23.6 percent from 2019 — the pre-pandemic baseline.

Snacks have been performing very well when contrasted against total food and beverages, notes Anne-Marie Roerink, 210 Analytics, LLC. Dollar sales across food and beverages increased 7.5 percent year-to-date versus 2021 and units were down 3.5 percent.

Six sectors within the snack category achieved double-digit dollar growth in the first half of the year. The performance by salty snacks, which includes potato chips, pretzels and ready-to-eat popcorn, was particularly impressive given the size of the market, notes Roerink. Salty snacks rang up $16.6 billion in the first half of 2022, which represents 45 percent of total sales across all snack sectors and yet, growth was 14 percent versus year ago and volume was flat.

Total snack unit sales were down 1.4 percent year-on-year, but volume decreased much less, down 0.6 percent. Likewise, units were down 1.8 percent versus 2019 while volume was up 4.6 percent. This indicates a long-term shift to larger pack sizes, says Roerink, adding that life is still more home-centric than it was pre-pandemic.

Foodservice recovery has been slow and spotty and consumers are once more pulling back on foodservice spending in the light of 40-year high inflation, she says. This favors home-based celebrations, whether birthdays, holidays, date night or movie night.

Three areas sold more pounds year-on-year — salty snacks, snack/granola bars and rice cakes. Snack bars are now the fourth-largest segment behind salty snacks, cookies and crackers.

Midyear 2022Dollars$ share$ sales vs. 2021$ sales vs. 2019VolumePound share sales vs. 2021 sales vs. 2019
Total snacks$36.7B100.0%+10.9%+23.6%6.2B100.0%-0.6%+4.6%
Salty snacks$16.6B45.3%+14.0%+29.6%2.6B23.6%+0.2%+6.5%
Snack/granola bars$3.6B9.8%+13.4%+10.0%461M4.2%+5.3%+2.7%
Snack nuts/seeds$2.9B7.8%-1.2%+2.4%445M4.0%-3.8%-1.8%
Meat snacks$2.3B6.2%+5.9%+37.3%106M1.0%-2.6%+23.7%
Fruit snacks$823M2.2%+11.7%+39.9%162M1.5%-3.1%+15.5%
Popcorn (pop your own)$558M1.5%+7.3%+22.6%198M1.8%-2.2%+5.2%
Rice cakes$185M0.5%+11.1%+50.1%21M0.2%+0.4%+34.3%
Source: IRI, Integrated Fresh, MULO+C, 26 weeks ending 6/12/2022

Salty Snacks

Salty snacks were the biggest seller, at $16.6 billion, adding $2 billion to the first half of 2021’s record sales. Within salty snacks, potato chips hold the largest portion of the market, at $4.7 billion, up 12 percent. The strongest growth was recorded by pretzels, up 17.7 percent, with growth boosted by inflation as well as robust demand, with pound sales up 5.5 percent year-on-year. Also recording strong volume growth was ready-to-eat popcorn, up 1.8 percent.


Cookies are the number two seller, up 14.7% in the first half of 2022. Volume was down slightly, at -1.4% but still well ahead of the 2019 pre-pandemic levels.


Dollar gains in crackers were inflation-driven, with volume down 2.5 percent. The highest growth within crackers was achieved by graham crackers, a s’mores favorite, up 11.8 percent.


Much like the rest of the store, inflation impacted snacks during the first half of 2022. However, with units off a mere 1.4 percent, snacks fared much better than total food and beverages, which declined by more than 5 percent. During the first half of 2022, the average price per unit increased as follows:

  • Salty snacks: +13.8%
  • Cookies: +12.7%
  • Crackers: +13.5%
  • Snack/granola bars: +15.4%
  • Snack nuts/seeds: +3.7%
  • Meat snacks: +10.2%
  • Fruit snacks: +18.8%
  • Popcorn: +13.2%
  • Rice cakes: +11.0%