Consumers’ Friend-CHIP With Salty Snacks Deepens

By Heather Mayer

Styling and Photography by Laurie Mosco

Salty snacks are soo in “season” for 2022.  Convenience Store News reports salty snacks purchases are at an all-time high.  Even as of a year ago, data analytics company IRI reported salty snacks sales totaled $28.3 billion (Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery). As consumers continue to return to the office, and the summer gathering circuit launches, salty snacks are emerging as THE snacking option. Time to spice up your salty snacking selection with classics done to perfection and a sprinkling of trending flavors.

Here are some salty snacks they’re sure to love sodium much.

Potato Chips: A-Peel to Nostalgia and Trending Flavors

When it comes to potato chips, the saying holds true — consumers can’t stop at one.  Potato chips are the king of the salty snack category, racking up $8.3 billion in sales as of May 2021 (Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery).  What’s helped keep consumers’ friend-CHIP with potato chips going — the variety of flavors (Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery).

Two flavors topping the savory snacks flavor charts at the moment — onion and barbecue (Institute of Food Technologists IFT). So chips featuring these flavors with a gourmet spin like Deep River Sweet Maui Onion and Mesquite BBQ are sure to be bestsellers.  Younger consumers are seeking snacks with South American spices so they’ll flip their “chip” for the bold and bright spices of Deep River’s Argentinian Chimichurri  (IFT).  For the more gourmet palette, there’s Deep River’s Black Truffle Potato Chips guaranteed to turn any gathering into a black tie affair.  Even with all these adventurous flavors, it’s always good to keep a classic like Deep River Sea Salt on hand for when they’re feeling nostalgic.

Equally important to salty snack customers is simple, recognizable ingredients with, 69% of consumers saying they influence their purchasing decisions (Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery).  Kettle-style potato chips is also a growing category, beloved for their extra crisp crunch (Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery).  Long Island-based North Fork Chips, ticks off both boxes. Long Island grown potatoes cut thick and kettle cooked in sunflower oil creates a chip full of crunch and flavor every salty snacker will love.  If they want a touch of sweet, there’s North Fork Sweet Potato Chips, or if it’s simply classics done to perfection there’s Sour Cream & Onion, Barbecue, and Salt.

International flavors are still of interest, too. So potato chips from the land of the potato experts, Ireland, like Keogh’s Crisps will give them ‘pot of potato chip gold at the end of the rainbow’ feelings.  Family farmed Irish potatoes, cooked in small batches creates an exceptional crisp (or for us on this side of the pond; chip).  The potato chip (or crisp) purists will be drawn to Keogh’s Atlantic Sea Salt. Those that are a little more adventurous, looking for a tour of Irish flavor, then there’s Mature Irish Cheese and Onion and Shamrock and Sour Cream.

Knot your Momma’s Pretzels – Classics with a Twist

While potato chips might be the king of the salty snack world, pretzels are undoubtedly the queen.  The sales don’t lie – in 2021 total pretzel sales grew 6.0% to $1.4 billion during the 52 weeks ending May 16 (Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery).

Like potato chips, the big draw at the moment is clean, simple ingredients and fun flavors. That’s evident when craft pretzel brand, Dot’s Pretzels emerged as the second highest selling pretzel brand for 2021.  Dot’s hits the spot if consumers are seeking pretzels made with simple ingredients that offer complex flavor.  Made using a signature spice blend that’s a longtime family secret and exclusive seasoning process, every twist and turn of Dot’s Pretzels are full of flavor. Their Honey Mustard, Original Seasoned and Southwest are pure salty snacking perfection.

If they’re looking for a “pop” of flavor, well then Pop Daddy really lives up to its name. Whether they want to snack ‘food truck style’ with tangy Yellow Mustard, ‘restaurant style’ with Garlic Parmesan, or feed their passion for pickle flavor with Dill Pickle, Pop Daddy Pretzels are crafted in small batches for bold flavors to the last bite.

Along with wholesome ingredients, many salty snackers are seeking snacks that fit today’s dietary trends like gluten free and vegan. If that’s their snacking preference, then they’ll love gluten free vegan Savor by Susie in lip snack-ing flavors like Garlic & Herb and Lil’ Bit Spicy. But what will really draw consumers to Savor by Suzie is the brand’s story.  A purchase of Savor by Suzie helps to support the company’s neurodiverse workforce and give back to autism Awareness.

If it’s gluten-free with a crisp crunch that they’re seeking, then recommend Gratify.   Just like their denim packaging implies  Gluten Free Pretzel Twists offer all the flavor and comforts and classic crunch of a traditional pretzel in a gluten free recipe so everyone can get in on the fun.

When it comes to pretzels, nutritional company ADM Chicago asserts that thin is in, noticing a growth in the popularity of pretzel thins.  That’s because their delightful thin crunch is seen as a better-for-you indulgence. Even though Pressels might have less fat and sodium than traditional pretzels, they’re fat with flavor and irresistible crunch. Many consumers are on the hunt for global flavors making Pressels Sriracha Pretzel Chips a delightful addition. You also can’t go wrong with a classic like Sea Salt.

Pretzels are a party snack that doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight.  That’s why customers will go nuts for nut mixes featuring their salty favorites — and the salty favorite’s cousin – the sesame stick. Our Party Snack Mix is like a list of salty snack VIPs featuring pretzels, hickory smoked almonds, garlic sesame sticks, unsalted peanuts and honey roasted peanuts. For those that like to spice it up then the flaming heat of our Cajun Hot Mix, with its blend of blanched peanuts, Cajun corn sticks, Cajun sesame sticks, roasted redskin peanuts, chili bits and Cajun seasoning will do just the trick.

Sweet and salty was also a big seller in 2021, generating $329.0 million in sales as of May (Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery) and is continuing today. So snack mixes like our Jazz it Up Mix featuring the pretzels’ cousin, again the sesame stick, with chocolate covered raisins, honey roasted peanuts, honey roasted sesame sticks, dried cranberries, and white chocolatey chips is singing their sweet and salty song.  For those die hard sweet and salty fans, there’s our Sweet Sea Salt Sensation Mix, featuring dark chocolate sea salt almonds, roasted salted cashews, raw pecan halves, dried cranberries, and golden raisins for the perfect balance of sweet and salty.

Salty Snacking 2.0 – Poppable Plant-Based Options

The plant-based trend even reaches into the salty snacking scene, with consumers looking for plant-based versions of their favorite salty snacks. An emerging brand offering a cornucopia of plant-based snacks is From The Ground Up.  With a variety of veggie-based recipes like butternut squash, cauliflower, and purple carrot, crafted into every item on the salty snack spectrum, there’s a From the Ground Up product for every snacking preference.  If they ‘re looking for some flavor, there’s bright and tangy Cauliflower Lime Tortilla Chips. When they’re looking for their dips to do the talking, there’s Butternut Squash Salted Tortilla Chips.

Pork rinds are another beloved salty snack that’s going plant-based courtesy of Snacklins. Baked with yuca and mushroom, Snacklins Plant Crisps offer an alternative to chips and other fried snacks in fun flavors like bold Nacho and nostalgic Chesapeake Bay Spice.

If these salty snacks can offer plant-based protein, even better (Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery). Popular-better-for you snack brand Hippeas expands its snacking friend-chip with the chickpea to create Hippeas Tortilla Chips.  Packed with 3g of plant-based protein and featuring flavors like bold Jalapeno Vegan Cheddar and creamy Rockin’ Ranch these better-for-you salty snacks are sure to satisfy their indulgent cravings.

Plant-Based snacks can have some international flare too.  Like the OG tropical plant-based chips – Plantain Chips! For authentic flavors, opt for Inka Plantain Chips. Hand picked in Peru and sliced super thin, Inka plantain chips offer a gluten free chip option with a crisp crunch customers will instantly love.  Spicy snacks are really popular at the moment, so make sure to stock up on Inka’s Chile Picante Plantain Chips, in addition to original Sea Salt (Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery).

Gourmet chips, pretzels, snacks, and appetizers were the third fastest-growing specialty food category in 2020, up 19% and continue to grow (IFT).  Satisfy their salty cravings with a variety of snacks full of simple ingredients, daring flavors, and super crunch that meet today’s dietary trends.

You’ll be bowled over by our salty snack selection

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