Savoring the Summer: U.S. Snack Index Reveals Key Insights for a Worry-Free and Memorable Season

Data from Frito-Lay and Quaker Show Snacking is Critical in Reducing the Stress of Long Summer Trips – And More Important Than Winning or Clean Bathrooms

PLANO, Texas, May 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — As temperatures rise and Americans eagerly anticipate the pleasures of summertime, Frito-Lay and Quaker today released the first-ever joint U.S. Summer Snack Index, shedding light on consumer preferences and habits to ensure unforgettable memories this season.

“Food is an important centerpiece for the joy that summertime brings,” said Denise Lefebvre, senior vice president, PepsiCo Foods R&D. “At Frito-Lay and Quaker, we are deeply invested in understanding what our consumers want so they can have the right flavors, variety, snack styles, and even packaging options all season.”

Frito-Lay and Quaker’s Summer Snack Index marks more than four years since Frito-Lay first issued its inaugural trend report. As snacking continues to play a large role in the lives of Americans – 49% of which note enjoying three or more snacks per day1 – the recurring report is an important yardstick for the evolution of food preferences and purchasing decisions through the lens of evolving consumer behavior.

“Americans snack more in the summer, whether they’re inside, outdoors, or on the move. From boosting road trip morale to complementing an outdoor potluck, today’s data confirms the integral role that snacks will play in many of this season’s shared moments and activities.”

Get Road Trip Ready
With experts predicting a surge in summer travel comparable to pre-pandemic levels, Frito-Lay and Quaker unearthed key insights to keep the good times rolling:

  • Planning snacks before hitting the road can “greatly reduce the stress” of a long road trip, according to 85% of Americans. That’s good news for those looking to embark on new snacking adventures, with nearly three out of four people declaring these trips as a chance to enjoy offerings they’ve never tried before.
  • Snacks are a priority pitstop. Road trippers under 40 years old are twice as likely to prioritize finding the snacks they want over clean bathrooms on their stops.
  • Are you there yet? Probably not, but snacks can help. Americans note that snacks provide an important morale boost during road trips (43%) and are key to staying sane in traffic (39%). While 44% of people report hiding snacks to keep them from other passengers, nearly one-quarter say they have used snacks to break an awkward car silence.
  • Tunes or Treat? 41% of people note they would rather have control over road trip snacks than the music. Millennials (46%) show the greatest preference for snack control, as do parents (49%) when compared to non-parents (36%).

The Ultimate Summer Soiree

  • Sharing is caring – in fact, Americans note “something for everyone” (74%) and “easy to share” (63%) are the ideal attributes for food and snacks this summer. When compared to “easy-to-make” dishes, shareability still comes out on top (72% vs. 28%). Check out MoreSmilesWithEveryBite.com for hundreds of summertime recipes inspired by Frito-Lay and Quaker favorites!
  • Avoid barbecue blunders. Party guests note overcooking the food (70%), waiting too long to serve food (62%), and not having enough snacks or appetizers (51%) among the worst hosting mistakes.
  • Bringing uninvited guests to a party is considered this summer’s worst party foul (63%), with baby boomers (70%) and Gen-Zers (55%) showing the biggest spread of opinion on the faux pas.

Outdoor Escapes

  • Winning isn’t everything, at least next to snacks. When it comes to outdoor sports, more than half of people (53%) say post-game snacks are more important than winning the game. Women (59%) are more likely to be excited for the post-game snacks than men (46%).
  • Parents note being in charge of their children’s after-game snacks is more stressful than getting their kids to the game on time (42%). Dads feel the most anxiety over the post-game ritual (46%), compared to Moms (38%).
  • Nearly 60% of people say that snacks can make or break beach days, citing dropped snacks in the sand (42%) and running out of snacks (34%) as critical beach bummers.
  • Convenience is key – especially in the great outdoors. The survey found that consumers are more likely to purchase snacks that are conveniently packaged (79%), with individually wrapped snacks also preferred (52%). When selecting snacks for their children, parents noted variety (70%) was their top choice, with flavor and convenience tied for the second-most important attributes (64%).

Frito-Lay and Quaker have a wide array of offerings that are sure to deliver for consumers this season:

  • When planning for adventures, Frito-Lay Minis – bite-sized versions of America’s favorite snacks – are conveniently packaged in an easy-to-pour canister, making it simpler than ever to snack no matter the destination.
  • Quaker® Rice Snacks are a great choice for parents looking to achieve “cool status,” while capitalizing on the importance of variety, flavor and shareability. Enjoy savory summer flavors like Tangy Barbecue, Buffalo Ranch, Sea Salt & Lime and sweet varieties like Quaker® Rice Thins Salted Caramel and Cocoa Crunch.
  • Ignite tastebuds with Jack Link’s® Doritos® Spicy Sweet Chili flavored or Flamin’ Hot® flavored Original beef jerky and meat sticks. The bold, epic mashup combines Jack Link’s high-quality meat snacks and Frito-Lay’s fan-favorite flavors to offer snackers the perfect road trip offering.
  • Customize a Frito-Lay Variety Pack to ensure there’s something on-hand for everyone. From sweet and salty, to crunchy and chewy, there’s a snack combination for every occasion — all in one box!

For more information, visit FritoLay.com/Snack-Index.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted between May 9 and May 15, 2023, among a national sample of 2,000 nationally representative US adults ages 18+. The interviews were conducted using an email invitation and an online survey. The data has been weighted to ensure an accurate representation of the U.S. adult population ages 18+.

About Frito-Lay North America
Frito-Lay North America is the $23 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Frito-Lay snacks include Lay’s and Ruffles potato chips, Doritos and Tostitos tortilla chips and branded dips, Cheetos snacks, Stacy’s pita chips, PopCorners popped-corn snack, SunChips multigrain snacks and Fritos corn chips. The company operates 30+ manufacturing facilities across the U.S. and Canada, more than 200 distribution centers and services 315,000 retail customers per week through its direct-store-delivery model. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate website, www.fritolay.com, on Twitter (@fritolay), on Instagram (@fritolay) and on Facebook (Frito-Lay).

About The Quaker Oats Company
The Quaker Oats Company, headquartered in Chicago, is a unit of PepsiCo, Inc., one of the world’s largest consumer packaged goods companies. For more than 140 years, Quaker’s brands have served as symbols of quality, great taste and nutrition. Quaker® Oats, Quaker® Rice Cakes and Quaker Chewy® Granola Bars are consumer favorites. For more information, please visit www.QuakerOats.comwww.Facebook.com/Quaker or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @Quaker.

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