Report: Cheese-flavored Snacks as Popular as Ever

cheese-flavored snacks, Cheetos Baked chip bag lot

New research conducted by international food company Kerry reveals consumers worldwide are enamored with cheese-flavored snacks.

In a survey of 8,790 consumers from 16 countries, approximately 62 percent of consumers said cheese flavors add excitement to savory snacks. Cheese-flavored snacks came out ahead of the overall savory snack category in new-product launches, which indicates strong potential in producers’ ability to connect with consumers emotionally, and shows innovation potential, Kerry said.

Across the globe, 77% of consumers said they love the taste of cheese. Additionally, 40% cited eating cheese for its health and nutrition benefits, and 22% liked the versatility of cheese.

While flavor is the predominant reason consumers said they like cheese-flavored foods, they also had emotional reasons, which tended to vary by region: European consumers said cheese is an indulgence; and consumers in the U.K., U.S., and South Africa said cheese provides comfort.

Kerry’s research revealed cheddar was the preferred flavor worldwide in cheese puffs, popcorn, and potato chips.

Soumya Nair, Kerry’s global consumer research and insights director, noted: “Cheese is a truly cultural experience, shaped by different geographies, generations of rich culinary history, local ingredients and traditions. Snack producers can be very creative in blending the traditional with the new.”

Based on its survey results, Kerry reported 61% of consumers globally said the Covid-19 pandemic influenced them to want more comforting, nostalgic savory snacks.

The report also noted 73% of respondents liked the taste of cheese-flavored savory snacks. Thirty-four percent, meanwhile, felt cheese flavors make them “happy.”