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Healthy Snacks Soar in Popularity & Price

Better-for-You Snacks See Higher Demand & Price Increases YOY

Increase in demand for better-for-you snacks is eclipsing the increased demand for more traditional “junk” foods. So far this year, demand for healthier snacking options is up 252.41% compared to last year, whereas demand for snacks seen as unhealthy is up only 138.61%, according to new data from ecommerce accelerator, Pattern.  

Why it matters: Consumers now have access to a broad variety of healthier snacking options, and our data illustrates that shoppers are eager to take advantage of better-for-you snack foods. Though demand for well-known junk foods is still on the rise, consumer preferences demonstrate a clear shift towards healthier options.  

What we’re seeing: We evaluated search data for the most popular snack foods in both healthy and unhealthy categories to see how consumer demand has shifted from January 2022 – present day (July 2023). Here’s how snack food categories are performing on the healthy side versus the not-so-healthy side:  

Soda:

  • Healthy soda options overall saw a 113.84% increase in demand from 2022 – 2023
    • Poppi +350.22%
    • Olipop +193%
  • Unhealthy soda options overall saw a 76.40% increase in demand from 2022 – 2023
    • Coca-Cola +459.03%
    • Root Beer +143.71%

Chips:

  • Healthy options for chips overall saw a 145.48% increase in demand from 2022 – 2023
    • Kibo +794.38%
    • Veggie Crisps +565.93%
  • Unhealthy options for chips overall saw an 85.42% increase in demand from 2022 – 2023
    • Lays Baked +695.74%
    • Zapps +218.23%

Candy:

  • Healthy candy options overall saw a 262.63% increase in demand from 2022 – 2023
    • Suckerz +805.68%
    • Shameless Snacks +678.69%
  • Unhealthy candy options overall saw a 57.13% increase in demand from 2022 – 2023
    • Gobstopper +554.20%
    • Lemonhead +238.34%

Yes, but: Unlike every other snack category, consumers showed an obvious preference for unhealthy cookies compared to their healthier counterparts. Here’s how unhealthy cookie options fared in terms of demand year over year compared to healthy cookies:

  • Unhealthy cookie options overall saw a 179.58% increase in demand from 2022 – 2023
    • Newtons +955.35%
    • Lorna Doone +303.50%
  • Healthy cookie options overall saw a 648.80% increase in demand from 2022 – 2023
    • Partake Foods +3,374.46%
    • Jules Destrooper +1,357.62%

What about inflation? Though demand for better-for-you snacks has soared, consumers may be paying more for them. In fact, consumers can expect to pay more for their snacks regardless of whether they are healthy or unhealthy. Here’s what customers can expect at checkout when satisfying their cravings:

  • Unhealthy options overall saw an average price increase of 2.54% from 2022 – 2023
    • Air Heads +24.45%
    • Gatorade +23.07%
  • Healthy options overall saw an average price increase of 4.71% from 2022 – 2023
    • Terra +40.49%
    • Late July +27.58%

The takeaway: While both unhealthy and better-for-you snacks have gained popularity year over year, consumers have shown a demonstrated preference for healthier options with time. Additionally, consumers can expect to pay higher prices for their snacks regardless of whether they prefer shameless indulgence or a guilty pleasure.  

Pattern’s data science team analyzed pricing and demand (or the number of people shopping for a given item during a given period) on Amazon during every day of 2022 and 2023 so far to understand trends in snack food purchases. If you’d like to use insights like these to drive your ecommerce strategy forward, contact our team for more information.