Snacks & Candy

Frito-Lay Named 2022 the Year of Crunch

Latest Snack Index gathers millennial and Gen Z preferences
Image: Shutterstock

Frito-Lay, Plano, Texas, declared 2022 the year of crunch, based on its recent U.S. Snack Index. The index polled consumers on their snacking preferences and found that more than 70% of snackers would reach for a food with a crunch when considering their perfect snack.

Beyond crunch, the Snack Index found other important snack factors among consumers included sweet (66%), salty (61%) and filling (53%). Almost half of those surveyed expressed that, when thinking of a perfect snack, that snack is also nostalgic and reminds them of a specific moment in time (49%).

Consumers are at the heart of all we do, so considering every component of a snack—including the crunch factor—is very important to us, said Denise Lefebvre, senior vice president of research and development for Frito-Lay and Quaker Foods North America. We know the perfect snack is different for everyone, which is why we constantly listen to consumers and then engage our chefs and our Culinary Center to provide variety, deliver on flavor and explore new recipes consumers love.

While Frito-Lay predicts that all adults will continue to look for crunchy snacks in 2023, generational differences and end-of-year snacking behaviors also contribute to trends to watch.

Nearly 50% of Gen Z believes snacking is most satisfying after dark, and when compared to older generations, Gen Z is twice as likely to order snacks for delivery at night. Of millennials, 50% say they satisfy their late-night snack cravings by visiting grocery or convenience stores.

While 65% of adults crave snacks the most when they want to treat themselves, 61% were unlikely to crave snacks when they felt down during the holidays, according to the Snack Index. Snacking is also a sensory experience, with 55% of those surveyed indicating they crave snacks most when they smell them and 52% crave snacks when they see them.

When it comes to cooking with snacks, Americans are more likely to try a recipe made with Lays Potato Chips (46%). They also responded that they'll most likely try out a recipe with Rold Gold Pretzels (40%) than Cheetos Original (37%).

The poll was conducted by Morning Consult between Nov. 4 and Nov. 7, among a national sample of 2,212 adults. The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.

Plano, Texas-based Frito-Lay North America Brands is a division of PepsiCo., Purchase, N.Y., which also makes brands including bubly, Gatorade, Pepsi, Lipton, Mtn Dew, Propel, Quaker and more.

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