Crackers: U.S. Market Trends

  • December 2013
  • -
  • Packaged Facts
  • -
  • 88 pages

Crackers: U.S. Market Trends

In the world of snacks, crackers are fast becoming the next big thing for snackers and the final frontier for food marketers. As harried, on-the-go Americans increasingly turn to snacks to satisfy their cravings and replace sit-down meals, they are discovering that crackers can offer an exciting and healthy alternative to traditional salty snacks such as chips, popcorn and pretzels. In a virtuous circle that promises to provide a significant boost to the market for crackers, major marketers in turn have begun to roll out an ever-expanding line of innovative products to meet the challenge created by soft sales and slow growth in product segments such as potato chips and cheese snacks. At the same time, smaller marketers of crackers are carving out space and grabbing market share by offering creative, artisanal products that satisfy their customers’ needs for authenticity in the food they eat. As this process unfolds, the traditionally placid market for crackers is turning upside down.

Crackers: U.S. Market Trends reveals that the new breed of crackers that is filling more and more shelves in grocery stores and supermarkets bears little resemblance to the Ritz crackers Mom ate with peanut butter and has no genetic ties to the Saltines Grandma ate with her soup. Today’s crackers set out to assuage the perpetual quest of serious snackers for explosive crunches and wild flavors right out of the box. As marketers dream up new ways to transform crackers into snacks, they are blurring the boundaries between crackers, crisps and chips. Besides positioning crackers as a stand-alone snack fit for eating right out of the box just like other snacks, marketers are moving in the direction of offering crackers that serve as mini-meals for consumers who are too busy to sit down and eat a regular meal.

Another key driver in the crackers market is the increasing ability of marketers of all sizes to connect crackers with consumers’ health and wellness concerns. Marketers of crackers are succeeding in giving consumers more opportunities to congratulate themselves for eating healthy-ingredient crackers with a good-for-you image. This is a critical element in any growth strategy for crackers marketers since Packaged Facts has found that household use of healthy-ingredient snacks, such as fruit- and nut-based snacks, far outpaced use of crackers during the past decade.

Market Definition

This Packaged Facts report defines the market for crackers based upon the following major product types: crackers with fillings, or sandwich crackers; graham crackers; saltines; and “all other crackers,” a category including a wide range of cracker types such as cheese-flavored crackers, crackers made with various grains, flatbreads and crackers fashioned as crisps. The report also analyzes consumer behavior related to the categories of crackers tracked by Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS): butter- and cheese-flavored crackers; grain crackers, including those made from oats, wheat and rye; other flavored crackers, such as those with onion and barbeque flavors; graham crackers; and saltines.

Methodology

One source of primary data used in this report is IRI InfoScan Reviews for the 52 weeks ending September 8, 2013. Another primary data source is the Spring 2013 NCS, which was fielded between January 2012 and March 2013. The report also includes data from the Spring 2004 Simmons NCS.

The report is also based upon data collected from field surveys of food retailers in various channels as well as a wide range of industry sources, including company websites, trade publications, business newspapers and magazines, consumer blogs, and annual reports, 10Ks and other releases from public companies.

Table Of Contents

Chapter 1 Executive Summary
Market Definition
Methodology
Market Overview
Table 1-1: U.S. Retail Sales of Crackers, 2008-2013
Crackers Will Ride Snacking Wave
Table 1-2: Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Crackers, 2013-2018
Topline Insights and Opportunities
Marketers Appeal to Healthy Snackers
Classic Crackers Get a New Look
Crackers Work as Snacks Right Out of the Box
Gluten-Free Fast Becoming an Absolute Requirement
Mini-Meals Satisfy On-the-Go Lifestyles
More Cross-Categories
An Artisanal Image
Lots of Heat and Intense Flavors
The Competitors
Smaller Marketers Step Up Game
Mondelez International, Inc. Stays on Top
Kellogg Company: “The Hungry #2”
Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. Looks to Expand Market Share
Smaller Marketers Gear Up to Compete More Aggressively
Store Brands Post Mixed Results
Marketing and New Product Trends
Extensive Marketing Effort Supports Wheat Thins Brand
New Cracker Products Highlighted
Table 1-3: Selected New Cracker Products
Consumer Trends
Who Eats What Kind of Crackers
Saltines and Graham Crackers Still Attract Loyal Following
Grain Crackers Experience Robust Growth in Household Use
Frequent Snackers Go For Crackers
Grain Crackers Tied to Healthy Eating Profile
Many Cracker Eaters Struggle with Their Weight
Coupons Work with Cracker Snackers
Chapter 2 Topline Insights and Opportunities
Topline Marketing and Strategic Trends
Marketers Appeal to Healthy Snackers
Figure 2-1: Number of “Healthy Snackers,” 2004 vs. 2013
Smaller Marketers Gain in Crackers As Well As Snacks
Smaller Marketers Thrive on Personal Connections
Table 2-1: Excerpts from Websites of Crackers Marketers Building Customer Relationships
Classic Crackers Get a New Look
What (Marketers Hope) Consumers Want
Crackers That Work as Snacks Right Out of the Box
Gluten-Free Fast Becoming an Absolute Requirement
Mini-Meals to Satisfy On-the-Go Lifestyles
More Cross-Categories
An Artisanal Image
Lots of Heat and Intense Flavors
Chapter 3 Market Trends
Market Trends
Crackers Fail to Keep Pace with Snacking Alternatives
Table 3-1: Use of Crackers by Households and Individuals, 2004 vs. 2013
Figure 3-1: Percent Change in Number of Households Using Crackers and Snacks in Last 30 Days, 2004 vs. 2013
Table 3-2: Percent of Households Using Crackers and Snacks in Last 30 Days, 2004 vs. 2013
Volume Usage of Crackers Grows but Lags Other Snacks
Table 3-3: Use of Snack Crackers by Number of Bags Used by Households in Last 30 Days, 2004 vs. 2013
Table 3-4: Number of Households Using Crackers in Last 30 Days by Number of Bags Used, 2004 vs. 2013
Table 3-5: Number of Bags of Snack Crackers Used Per Household in Last 30 Days, 2004 vs. 2013
Table 3-6: Number of Bags of Crackers and Snacks Eaten by Households in Last 30 Days by Type of Snack, 2005 vs. 2013
High-Volume Users of Crackers Keep Market Afloat
Table 3-7: Use of Crackers by Number of Bags Used by Households in Last
30 Days, 2004 vs. 2013
Table 3-8: Growth in Total Number of Bags of Crackers Used by Households
in Last 30 Days, 2004 vs. 2013
Market Size and Composition
Market Records Respectable Growth
Table 3-9: U.S. Retail Sales of Crackers, 2008-2013
Table 3-10: U.S. Retail Sales of Crackers by Type, 2013
Where Crackers Are Sold
Figure 3-2: Share of U.S. Retail Sales of Crackers by Retail Channel, 2013
Figure 3-3: Retail Sales of Crackers by Retail Channel, 2013
Crackers with Fillings Show Fastest Mass-Market Growth
Table 3-11: IRI-Tracked Sales of Crackers by Dollar and Volume Growth
Table 3-12: Crackers with Dollar Sales of $5 Million or More with the
Fastest-Growing IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales
Projected Market Growth
Crackers Will Ride Snacking Wave
Table 3-13: Changes in Attitudes toward Eating and Snacking Habits, 2004 vs. 2013
Increasing Investment in Crackers Will Spark Growth
More Healthy-Ingredient Crackers Will Spur Growth
Table 3-14: Number and Percent of “Healthy Snackers,” 2004 vs. 2013
Smaller Marketers Will Arouse More Interest in Crackers
Demographic Trends Favor Growth in Market for Crackers
More Robust Growth Anticipated
Table 3-15: Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Crackers, 2013-2018
Chapter 4 The Competitors
Marketer and Brand Shares
Smaller Marketers Step Up Game
Table 4-1: Major Marketers' Shares of IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Crackers by Major Brands
Figure 4-1: Market Share and IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales Increases, Mondelez International, Inc./Kellogg Company vs. All Other Marketers
Stacy’s and Snack Factory Post Significant Gains
Table 4-2: IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of All Other Crackers
Nabisco Faces Pressure from Competing Crackers with Fillings
Table 4-3: IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Crackers with Fillings
Latin American Saltine Brands Record Above-Average Growth
Table 4-4: IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Saltine Crackers
Nabisco Honey Maid Consolidates Lead in Graham Crackers
Table 4-5: IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Graham Crackers
Breadsticks and Matzo Crackers Fade
Table 4-6: IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Breadsticks
Table 4-7: IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Matzo Crackers
Competitive Trends
Mondelez International, Inc. Stays on Top
Table 4-8: Fastest-Growing Cracker Brands of Mondelez International, Inc. by IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales
Kellogg Company: “The Hungry #2”
Table 4-9: Dollar Share of Cracker Types, Kellogg Company vs. Mondelez International, Inc
Table 4-10: IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Crackers by Kellogg Company by Market Segment
Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. Looks to Expand Market Share
Table 4-11: IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Crackers by Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. by Market Segment
Smaller Marketers Gear Up to Compete More Aggressively
Figure 4-2: Revenues of Annie’s, Inc. from Snacks (including Crackers), 2011-2013
Store Brands Post Mixed Results
Table 4-12: Trends in Household Use of Crackers, 2004 vs. 2013
Table 4-13: Private Labels’ Share of IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Crackers by Type
Table 4-14: Change in IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Crackers by Type,Private Labels vs. All Marketers
Chapter 5 Marketing and New Product Trends
Marketing Trends
Goldfish Offers a Custom Way to Snack
Lance Celebrates 100th Anniversary
Extensive Marketing Effort Supports Wheat Thins Brand
Pepperidge Farm Looks to Teens with Goldfish Puffs
New Product Trends
New Cracker Products Highlighted
Table 5-1: Selected New Cracker Products
Lesley Stowe Goes Wheatless
Triscuits Launches Brown Rice Crackers
Annie's, Inc. Expands Cracker Offerings
Mediteranean Snacks Offers Grab-and-Go Mini-Meal
Funley's Delicious Launches Superfood Crackers
Partners Debuts Free for All Kitchen Gluten Free Crackers
Dr. Kracker Introduces Culinary Crisps
Chapter 6 Consumer Trends
Demographic Highlights
Who Eats Crackers?
Table 6-1: Demographic Profile of Cracker Consumers by Type of Cracker, 2013
Who Eats What Kind of Crackers?
Table 6-2: Percent of Demographic Segments Using Snack Crackers by Type of Cracker Used Most Often, 2013
Highlights of Consumer Behavior
Saltines and Graham Crackers Still Attract Loyal Following
Table 6-3: Use of Crackers by Type of Cracker, 2013
Grain Crackers Experience Robust Growth
Table 6-4: Trends in Household Use of Snack Crackers, 2004 vs. 2013
Americans Eat All Kinds of Crackers
Table 6-5: Household Use of Other Snack Crackers by Type of Cracker, 2013
Frequent Snackers Go For Crackers
Table 6-6: Use of Crackers and Other Types of Snacks by Frequent Snackers, 2013
Healthy Snackers Like Grain Crackers
Table 6-7: Cracker Preferences, Healthy Snackers vs. All Adults, 2013
Grain Crackers Tied to Healthy Eating Profile
Table 6-8: Attitudes toward Healthy Eating by Type of Cracker Used Most Often, 2013
Consumers of Grain Crackers Turn to Natural Channel
Table 6-9: Food Shopping Habits by Type of Cracker Used Most Often, 2013
Table 6-10: Many Cracker Eaters Struggle with Their Weight
Table 6-11: Attitudes toward Dieting by Type of Cracker Used Most Often, 2013
Coupons Work with Cracker Snackers
Table 6-12: Percent Agreeing "Often I Can be Swayed by Coupons to Try New Food Poducts," 2013
Butter and Cheese Cracker Eaters Like Store-Made Meals
Table 6-13: Percent Agreeing "I Often Eat Store-Made, Pre-Cooked Meals"by Type of Cracker Used Most Often, 2013

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