US & Global Economic Impact Analysis and Forecasts

Freedonia analysts and economists are sharing their insights on how major events are impacting different parts of the US and global economies.

Pandemic-Driven Snacking Expected to Continue Throughout 2021

February 26, 2021 - Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many US consumers have heeded the calls of government and health leaders and minimized their trips outside of the home. However, people still need a break from the routine of staying inside. A pair of articles show that, for a number of people, a momentary respite has been that of snacking.

The first article – a recap of PepsiCo company’s latest quarterly earnings report – reported that sales of snacks have increased during the pandemic as consumers increasingly purchase bags and boxes of chips, crackers, and other items to break up the monotony of home life. The company expects this trend to continue through 2021 as people will continue to work, school, and shop at home, with the mid-day trip to the coffee shop replaced by a much shorter journey to the cupboard in the pantry.

The second article discusses the sale of Kraft Heinz’s nuts businesses – such as the famed Planters line of peanuts – to Hormel Foods. The transaction will allow Kraft Heinz to concentrate on its core food offerings, including snack foods as Jell-O, Lunchables, and Bagel Bites. For Hormel Foods, the purchase of the Planters line allows it to enter the snack foods market, which can serve as a complement to its meat products – the basis of many lunches and dinners. Nuts are also considered better-for-you snacks and play into consumer interest in both higher protein snack options and plant-based snack options.

According to The Freedonia Group National Online Consumer Survey (conducted November-December 2020), 51% of respondents noted that they were eating more snacks and treats because of the coronavirus pandemic. That share is somewhat higher – 54% – among those who are set up to do their usual paid work from home. While 45% noted that they were eating more healthy foods because of the pandemic (an interest in boosting immunity and general health), 25% indicated they were eating in a less healthy way and 59% were eating more comfort foods because of the pandemic. Many consumers are straddling that line between foods that improve well-being and foods that are familiar and comforting. These trends present opportunities for food companies to create offerings that play at least somewhat in both areas.

For more information about trends and opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s coverage of the packaging industry as well as food and beverage research from sister publisher Packaged Facts. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.

  Covid-19      Food & Beverage