Snacking demand defies higher prices
Snacking remains popular despite elevated prices.
Driving the news: PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North America snacks business, which includes Doritos and Cheetos, saw a 14% increase in revenue last quarter over the same period last year, the company reported last week.
- And it wasn't just higher prices. Sales volume in the snacks unit rose, whereas volumes for the company's Quaker Foods and beverages brands — which also saw revenue gains — both fell.
- Separately, Conagra reported grocery and snacks grew by 3.6%, which was more than expected.
Zoom out: Salty snacks — pretzels, chips, popcorn and the like — topped the list of best-selling specialty foods last year for the first time, according to the Specialty Food Association (SFA).
- In 2022, the chips, pretzels and snacks category topped $6 billion — the first category to ever achieve this, per the SFA's State of the Specialty Food Industry report.
What they're saying: A "return to more social events and entertaining is driving sales" of this category, the SFA said in a trends report.
- Plus, "personal indulgence has proven to be pandemic- and inflation-proof."
The intrigue: The uptick in industry and consumer interest comes as venture investors have lost their appetite for food tech.
- VC deal count and deal value in the space dropped from last year, per PitchBook.
- Among the factors: Product development is capital intensive and faces heavy regulation.
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