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Savoring the Summer: U.S. Snack Index Reveals Key Insights for a Worry-Free and Memorable Season

Savoring the Summer: U.S. Snack Index Reveals Key Insights for a Worry-Free and Memorable Season

Mayo 26, 2023
As temperatures rise and Americans eagerly anticipate the pleasures of summertime, Frito-Lay and Quaker released the first-ever joint U.S. Summer Snack Index, shedding light on consumer preferences and habits to ensure unforgettable memories this season.

Denise Lefebvre, senior vice president, PepsiCo Foods R&D:
"Food is an important centerpiece for the joy that summertime brings. At Frito-Lay and Quaker, we are deeply invested in understanding what our consumers want so they can have the right flavors, variety, snack styles, and even packaging options all season."
Frito-Lay and Quaker's Summer Snack Index marks more than four years since Frito-Lay first issued its inaugural trend report. As snacking continues to play a large role in the lives of Americans – 49% of which note enjoying three or more snacks per day – the recurring report is an important yardstick for the evolution of food preferences and purchasing decisions through the lens of evolving consumer behaviour.

Get Road Trip Ready

With experts predicting a surge in summer travel comparable to pre-pandemic levels, Frito-Lay and Quaker unearthed key insights to keep the good times rolling:
  • Planning snacks before hitting the road can "greatly reduce the stress" of a long road trip, according to 85% of Americans. That's good news for those looking to embark on new snacking adventures, with nearly three out of four people declaring these trips as a chance to enjoy offerings they've never tried before.

  • Snacks are a priority pitstop. Road trippers under 40 years old are twice as likely to prioritize finding the snacks they want over clean bathrooms on their stops.

  • Are you there yet? Probably not, but snacks can help. Americans note that snacks provide an important morale boost during road trips (43%) and are key to staying sane in traffic (39%). While 44% of people report hiding snacks to keep them from other passengers, nearly one-quarter say they have used snacks to break an awkward car silence.

  • Tunes or Treat? 41% of people note they would rather have control over road trip snacks than the music. Millennials (46%) show the greatest preference for snack control, as do parents (49%) when compared to non-parents (36%).

The Ultimate Summer Soiree
  • Sharing is caring – in fact, Americans note "something for everyone" (74%) and "easy to share" (63%) are the ideal attributes for food and snacks this summer. When compared to "easy-to-make" dishes, shareability still comes out on top (72% vs. 28%). Check out MoreSmilesWithEveryBite.com for hundreds of summertime recipes inspired by Frito-Lay and Quaker favorites!

  • Avoid barbecue blunders. Party guests note overcooking the food (70%), waiting too long to serve food (62%), and not having enough snacks or appetizers (51%) among the worst hosting mistakes.

  • Bringing uninvited guests to a party is considered this summer's worst party foul (63%), with baby boomers (70%) and Gen-Zers (55%) showing the biggest spread of opinion on the faux pas.

Outdoor Escapes
  • Winning isn't everything, at least next to snacks. When it comes to outdoor sports, more than half of people (53%) say post-game snacks are more important than winning the game. Women (59%) are more likely to be excited for the post-game snacks than men (46%).

  • Parents note being in charge of their children's after-game snacks is more stressful than getting their kids to the game on time (42%). Dads feel the most anxiety over the post-game ritual (46%), compared to Moms (38%).

  • Nearly 60% of people say that snacks can make or break beach days, citing dropped snacks in the sand (42%) and running out of snacks (34%) as critical beach bummers.

  • Convenience is key – especially in the great outdoors. The survey found that consumers are more likely to purchase snacks that are conveniently packaged (79%), with individually wrapped snacks also preferred (52%). When selecting snacks for their children, parents noted variety (70%) was their top choice, with flavor and convenience tied for the second-most important attributes (64%).

Frito-Lay and Quaker have a wide array of offerings that are sure to deliver for consumers this season:
  • When planning for adventures, Frito-Lay Minis – bite-sized versions of America's favorite snacks – are conveniently packaged in an easy-to-pour canister, making it simpler than ever to snack no matter the destination.

  • Quaker® Rice Snacks are a great choice for parents looking to achieve "cool status," while capitalizing on the importance of variety, flavor and shareability. Enjoy savory summer flavors like Tangy Barbecue, Buffalo Ranch, Sea Salt & Lime and sweet varieties like Quaker® Rice Thins Salted Caramel and Cocoa Crunch.

  • Ignite tastebuds with Jack Link's® Doritos® Spicy Sweet Chili flavored or Flamin' Hot® flavored Original beef jerky and meat sticks. The bold, epic mashup combines Jack Link's high-quality meat snacks and Frito-Lay's fan-favorite flavors to offer snackers the perfect road trip offering.

  • Customize a Frito-Lay Variety Pack to ensure there's something on-hand for everyone. From sweet and salty, to crunchy and chewy, there's a snack combination for every occasion — all in one box!
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