Canadian Vending

Features Consumer Behaviour Trends
Frito-Lay releases snacking study

The Snacking Index shows trends in summer snacking

June 17, 2019
By Canadian Vending

Image courtesy of Frito-Lay and PepsiCo

With pool parties and beach-season opening, Frito-Lay unveiled the next instalment of its U.S. Snack Index. As the unofficial start of summer, Victoria Day weekend historically starts a spike and then snacking hits its highest point during the week of July 1.

In fact, according to retail sales data, the week of July 1 represents the biggest snacking week of the entire year for Frito-Lay. 

“Delighting consumers with a wide variety of snack options has always been our first priority, and it’s helped us earn our spot…” said Mike Del Pozzo, senior vice president of sales, chief customer officer, Frito-Lay North America in a press release. “As snacking heats up in the summer months, so do our efforts to make sure that we are delivering the perfect side to any summer occasion.”

Nearly nine out of ten people see snacking as important to summer occasions or can’t imagine summer without their favourite snacks. And when it comes to summertime events, there are quite literally millions of them. The study has found the following facts regarding snacking:

  • Millennials, women and parents top the list when it comes to who will host a summer gathering. Approximately 90 per cent of this group views snacks as an important ingredient for a successful get-together.
  • Snacking provisions aren’t just considered the responsibility of the host. Three in four adults (77 per cent) come to summertime events armed with snacks.
  • Chips reign supreme across most summer occasions with just over half of Americans (51 per cent) choosing to bring chips to the backyard barbecue, cookout or picnic over any other type of snack.
  • Summer also conjures up a nod to tradition with almost 70 per cent of Americans preferring to stick with the classic, traditional flavours for an extra dose of summer nostalgia.

Given its popularity, the summer gathering is the backdrop of a new advertising campaign highlighting the Frito-Lay summer product portfolio. The campaign features a new seasonal mantra, “The Perfect Side of Summer,” and spotlights the many ways to enjoy the long, playful days of summer with crowd pleasers like Doritos, Lay’s and Tostitos, in the same press release. 

Snacking and summer travel go hand in hand. In a recent survey from AAA Travel3, nearly 100 million Americans will take a family vacation in 2019 – including summer getaways or packing up the car for a road trip this year. And from camping to reunions, families report they are planning to pack their favourite snacks. 

  • Nearly three-fourths of Americans (73 per cent) surveyed in the U.S. Snack Index agree that they travel more in the summer with snacks making the packing list every time. And that number jumps to nearly 80 perc ent when polling parents.
  • With reports of camping on the rise especially among Millennial parents4, getting back to nature also conjures up a preference for snacks that provide some type of positive nutrition, with nearly 40 per cent of Americans citing nuts, seeds, granola bars and snacks that incorporate fruit, vegetables or legumes as their favourites for the campground.
  • One in four Americans chooses to bring snacks that incorporate fruit, vegetables or legumes (28 per cent) to share with family. But chips are still the most common family favourite to have on deck at a family reunion (33 per cent) as well as frozen or baked sweets (18 per cent), suggesting that family reunion organizers are sure to include something for everyone.
  • Convenience (92 per cent) is the most important snacking factor for summer travel snackers with more than half of Americans picking up single-serve packaging options (65 per cent) before embarking on their journeys.

With more than 90 million selfies estimated5 to be taken every day, Frito-Lay asked consumers which snack was most likely to make a cameo in their summer selfies. Out of corn/tortilla chips, potato chips, cheese curls, pretzels and popcorn, here’s what America plans to snap and snack.

  • Potato chips (43 per cent) are the clear winner when it comes to backyard barbecues, cookouts and picnics. Corn and tortilla chips come in a close second (37 per cent).
  • When it comes to rooftop gatherings, corn and tortilla chips (36 per cent) are ahead of the pack when it comes time for photo-worthy snacking.
  • Whether at the pool, at the beach or on a boat, the debate for fan favourite is on. Both potato chips and tortilla chips are the clear selfie leaders.
  • Cheesy snacks are more likely to make the shot while enjoying summer away from home including the beach, the pool, a road trip or even sporting event.

Frito-Lay’s U.S. Snack Index is a national survey that reveals how different generations, regions and cities snack when it comes to summer snacking preferences. For more information, visit: