Snacks sales are growing due to smaller package sizes, sugar-free options, and more variety
Snacks are largely driven by promotional offers that drive incremental revenue
Non-Sugar and Non-Dairy dominate in the drinks categories
Alcoholic beverage growth is driven by ready-to-drink cocktails, with 42%+ growth
Now that the pandemic is winding down, convenience store sales have returned to normal levels, but e-commerce and other types of sales channels remain strong. This points to a larger shift in how consumers perceive small treats such as candy bars in small inexpensive ways. Despite high inflation and rising costs, consumers are still willing to pay more for treats, including snacks. Candy and snacks respond well to promotional offers because they are impulse purchases and are known to drive incremental sales.
Consumers are looking for permissible and portion-controlled snack options, with the category seeing double-digit growth, while others are reducing sugar and providing more variety, such as the new Hi-Chew Reduced Sugar Fruit Flavors.
Nostalgic tastes are also making a comeback, with both Kool Aid and Warheads adding the iconic popping candies to their roster of products. Other trends in indulgence snacks are around unique and international products, such as Mochi Donuts, Bento Cakes, and the Croffles, a croissant and waffle blend.
Meanwhile, the beverage category’s “unstoppable trend” appears to be non-sugar. “In beverages, non-sugar is growing three times the speed of full-sugar” according to Ramon Laguarta, CEO of PepsiCo. PepsiCo is betting on products such as Gatorade Zero, while full-sugar products are growing with smaller portions, such as mini-cans, with a little pleasure but not a lot of calories. Health beverages such as Ginger Shots are on the rise, with nearly 40% YoY growth in sales and online interests. Top Brands to follow, GNGR Labs, Liquid Death, and Celsius Energy Drinks.
The other unstoppable trend is the growth of non-dairy foods, in particular Oatmilk variations with over 11% growth YoY. Oatmilk coffee creamers, yogurts, and ready-to-drink coffees with oatmilk blends are on the rise, with top brands such as Pop and Bottle continually growing.
The epidemic also altered how people eat and drink alcohol among consumers. According to CNBC, e-commerce sales have significantly grown since the pandemic started, and buyers are shifting toward premiumization or higher-end brands. The biggest rise has, however, been in ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails and premixed drinks. Premixed cocktails had the fastest growing spirits category last year, with sales increasing by 42% year over year to $1.6 billion, compared to growth rates of 30% for tequila and mezcal and 16% for Irish whiskey. There have been a lot of people experimenting and having fun with cocktails, and a lot of people realized they weren’t the best bartender in the world, thus paving the way for pre-mixed drinks. Alcoholic drinks to keep an eye on are White Tea Shots, Lemoncello Spritz, Ranch Water, and Alcohol Gummies.