While seven in 10 Americans say they expect to make changes to Fourth of July plans this year, according to Frito-Lay, if Memorial Day is any indication (salty snacks were up 9% year over year, and early June data shows salty snacks up by 5%), salty snacks sales are expected to be on par with years past for Fourth of July.
And, this year, data shows consumers searching online for Fourth of July snacks is up 80% year over year.
In addition, at-home consumption on the rise and anticipated to continue for Fourth of July. Take-home size bags that consumers can enjoy at home with family are up more than 50% as consumers get ready for the holiday weekend.
As states reopen, Frito-Lay has seen an uptick in traffic to convenience stores. Consumers are making fewer trips and purchasing pantry essentials closer to home, relying more heavily on c-stores for their shopping needs.
Other key findings from Frito-Lay include:
Summer gatherings evolve, but snacks are still a welcomed guest.
- Eighty percent say their gatherings will be fewer than eight people, and eight in 10 note they plan to grill or have a picnic for Fourth of July, which is up 26% year over year.
- Large, in-person group hangouts are a thing of the past for the foreseeable future, with just 6% of respondents saying they plan to do more of this over the next few months compared to the past.
- Americans are still very likely to still bring snacks. Of those going to in-person gatherings 80% say they will probably bring snacks, while 86% say they will probably bring snacks to a small group hangout, and 76% will have snacks at any virtual hangout.
- More than three in 10 expect to be spending time outside in nature (37%) or in more virtual hangouts with friends over the next few months (34%).
While snacking is a constant among American adults, the way eating snacks makes people feel, from comfort to normalcy to happiness, varies based on where they live.
Adults in Chicago are the most likely to feel comfortable (87%), adults in Dallas are most likely to feel happy (90%), and those in Los Angeles are the most likely to feel a sense of normalcy (90%) while consuming snacks.
- The Frito-Lay Snack Index found 85% of national respondents say eating their favorite snack makes them feel a sense of normalcy.
- The overwhelming majority (83%) of national respondents said their favorite summer snacks remind them of good times, and nearly half (48%) said eating their favorite snack makes them feel happy.
Although there are many differences this year — some favorite snacks remain and are seeing more demand.
- IRI retail sales data also shows salty snacks are the No. 2 food item that’s contributed to dollar growth at retailers since early March.
- Data shows consumers searching online for Fourth of July snacks is up 80% year over year.
- Frito-Lay has seen the same demand in its own sales data, as salty snacks are up 5% in June. Fourth of July is historically the biggest week of the year for salty snacks, and while this year will look different, Frito-Lay anticipate sales for the category and the company to be on par with years past.
- Sales are up for Unflavored Tortilla Chips (31%) and Corn Chips (14%) as consumers are enjoying nachos and Frito pie as meals. Dips like salsa, queso and bean dips are also up 21%. And, historically, six of the seven top selling snacks during the week of 4th of July are Frito-Lay brands (Frito-Lay Variety Packs, Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, Ruffles and Tostitos).
Preferences vary among adults in local markets — from flavor choices to where they will hang out this summer.
- L.A. (55%) and New York (50%) residents are most likely to go for potato chips, while Dallas (30%) and Chicago (28%) are most likely to pick popcorn. Miami (27%) and L.A. (28%) were almost tied for saying they would choose a snack that incorporates ingredients like fruits, vegetables or legumes.
- This year, unflavored tortilla chips are rising to the top snack when looking at category data nationally and in the top-five local markets where Frito-Lay polled consumers. In addition:
- Miami, Dallas and Chicago seek variety as all selected multipack snacks as a top pick
- Chicago and L.A. will go for potato chips like Lay’s
- New Yorkers will go for flavored tortilla chips, like Doritos
- Specific to Frito-Lay, across the board, local markets picked Tostitos as a top Fourth of July snack, but there are some differences by market:
- Dallas, Miami, New York and Chicago show the biggest growth in Cheetos year over year
- L.A. and Chicago will pick up Lay’s
- Miami, Dallas, L.A. and New York will go for Doritos
- Adults in Chicago and Miami are the most influenced by ads (25% in both cities) while adults in New York are the most likely to take social media influencer suggestions (21%).
- Compared to Summer 2019, Chicago adults (79%) say they are planning to stick with the classics as opposed to new, spicy, or bold flavors. They also are most likely to snack the same amount or slightly more this summer (94%).
- While all cities showed they will spend a significant amount of time this summer doing virtual hangouts with friends, New Yorkers were most likely (45%). One in 10 New York, Miami and L.A. residents plan to escape to the beach, and more than nine in 10 will bring snacks.
Purchasing snacks online is on the rise, with younger and higher income Americans more likely to try eCommerce, including choosing to buy online from retailers via ‘Click and Collect’ and pick-up curbside.
- Online sales are up for snacks 43% since March 1 and 74% year over year.
- While consumers say in-store shopping during this time has been stressful, they’re still heading to the store. More than one-third (37%) of respondents feel stress shopping for groceries during the pandemic. However, U.S. Snack Index data showed consumers still largely prefer in-person shopping with most survey respondents (74%) saying that’s where they look first for their favorite snacks.
Snack availability, demand lead to new direct-to-consumer channels.
- The global pandemic has further highlighted the need to directly serve consumers, who have had difficulty locating their favorite snacks in this challenging environment. In fact, less than half (47%) say they can find all the snacks they want when shopping.
- With this in mind, Frito-Lay has nearly doubled the number of SKUs available on its eCommerce site, Snacks.com, since its launch in May, to offer consumers more options.
- The current top-selling snacks on Snacks.com include snacks like Doritos Nacho Cheese tortilla chips as well as Cheetos and Cheetos Puffs. Consumers are also enjoying Fritos Scoops corn chips, Doritos Cool Ranch tortilla chips and Cheetos Flamin’ Hot snacks.
These polls were conducted by Morning Consult between May 1-4, 2020, among a national sample of 2,200 Adults and between June 8-9 among state samples of 200 adults in each of five U.S cities — Dallas, Chicago, New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles.