Nielsen Reports Significant Growth for Healthy Snack Category in 2017

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We have posted on this subject a number of times over the past two years, and yet again more reports are pointing to growth in the healthy snack category. Nielsen released its study of the snacking category in 2017 and found that it has increased to $33 billion in the United States. They also found that annual household spending on snacks increased to $133, which is around a 1.1% increase from 2016.

Analysis: Snack Category from 2013 to 2016

Nielsen also analyzed the individual snacking categories from 2013 to 2016. They found that every individual category saw an increase in sales. Bars (health, meal replacement, performance, weight management, and granola) experienced the largest growth of any snacking category with an increase of $633 million over that time period.  Jerky and cookies/crackers followed in at second and third to round out the top 3 snacking categories. Another interesting stat was dairy accounted for almost a quarter of all snacking dollars with 22% of sales. It’s fascinating to see how the “other” category is experiencing large growth as new innovations peak consumers’ interest.

Healthy Snack Category Leads the Way

Growth is happening in both traditional and healthy snack categories. However, products with specific health claims saw the largest increase in sales. Snacks with non-GMO claims have seen 18.2% growth in dollar sales over the past 5 years. A close second was for products free from artificial colors and flavors at 16.2%. To truly understand this growth, the average snack product has seen only 1.2% increase in sales over the same time period.


It’s a no-brainer to start creating healthy snacks that can be distributed across all retail channels. Manufacturers are seeing significant growth in sales that are fueling product breadth expansion and new innovations. Our GrandFusion product line is an easy way to take your snack to the next level. With GrandFusion, you are able to add vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables without impacting the flavor or texture of the end product. You are able to make impressive claims around nutritional equivalent servings of fruits and vegetables as well as source claims for the vitamins. Interested in learning more? Visit your respective industry above.

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