CNBCWhy Americans are eating more snacks

April 12, 20210
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With Americans stuck at home, snack food has become a valuable commodity for consumers stressed by the Covid pandemic

Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo and one of the largest snack food makers, has seen sales surge. The company produces more than 1,200 different types of snacks, including brands like Cheetos, Doritos, Lay’s, Smartfood and Ruffles.

PepsiCo said in February that fourth-quarter net revenue at Frito-Lay North America increased 5% on a year-over-year basis to $5.4 billion. 

And it’s not just Frito-Lay that is seeing a boom in its snack business.

North American sales of savory snacks like chips, popcorn and pretzels climbed to $56.9 billion in 2020, an 11% increase from the previous year, according to Euromonitor International.

“The snacking industry was kind of growing low-to-mid single digits, humming right along, and then the pandemic just gave it this explosive growth,” said CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson.

In stressful times, people turn to snacking for comfort, and the pandemic has transformed kitchens across the U.S. into giant vending machines. Watch the video above to find out more about Americans’ snacking habits and if Covid-19 has put an end to the shift to healthier snacks.

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