Frito-Lay and Quaker release joint U.S. Summer Snack Index

May 30, 2023
As snacking continues to play a large role in the lives of Americans, the recurring report is a yardstick for evolving consumer food preferences and purchasing decisions.

Frito-Lay and Quaker released the first-ever joint U.S. Summer Snack Index, shedding light on consumer preferences and habits.

"Food is an important centerpiece for the joy that summertime brings," Denise Lefebvre, senior vice president, PepsiCo Foods R&D, said in the announcement. "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, the recurring report is an important yardstick for the evolution of food preferences and purchasing decisions through the lens of evolving consumer behavior.

Road trips

With experts predicting a surge in summer travel comparable to pre-pandemic levels, Frito-Lay and Quaker unearthed key insights, such as: 

  • Planning snacks before hitting the road can "greatly reduce the stress" of a long road trip, according to 85% of Americans.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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%). 

Summer soirees

Americans note "something for everyone" (74%) and "easy to share" (63%) are the ideal attributes for food and snacks this summer.

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.

Outdoor escapes

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. 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 an array of offerings for consumers this season:

  • Frito-Lay Minis – bite-sized versions of America's favorite snacks – are conveniently packaged in an easy-to-pour canister, making it easy to snack no matter the destination.
  • Quaker Rice Snacks capitalize on the importance of variety, flavor and shareability – with 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.
  • Customize a Frito-Lay Variety Pack to ensure there's something on-hand for everyone. 


Frito-Lay North America
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