Potato chips industry in the United States - additional information
Although the exact origins of potato chips are disputed, they have become a staple snack food around the world and are associated with the U.S. American culture just as much as chewing gum and peanut butter. According to industry representatives, not only is the potato chip more than 160 years old, but the potato chip industry itself can be traced back to 1895, when the product first became available in grocery stores. A recent worldwide survey showed that for some 63 percent of North American respondents potato chips are the snack food of choice, more so than chocolate, cheese or cookies/biscuits.
The potato chip market represents a sizeable share of the total savory snacks industry in the United States and generates billions of U.S. dollars in revenue every year. In 2015, the value of potato chips sales is forecast to amount to 5.69 billion U.S. dollars in the United States alone, second only to crackers, which generated sales worth 6.87 billion U.S. dollars. Frito Lay, Inc., a division of PepsiCo which manufactures, markets and sells snack foods, such as corn chips and potato chips, was the leading potato chips vendor in the United States, based on sales. The Kellogg Company ranked second, with sales worth six times less than those of Frito-Lay. Moreover, Frito Lay owns five of the ten most successful brands of potato chips in the United States, namely Lay’s, Wavy Lay’s, Ruffles, Lay’s Kettle Cooked and Baked Lay’s. Ruffles potato chips were ranked as fourth leading potato chip brand in the U.S. in 2016.
The classic Lay’s brand, which was founded in 1932 by Ohio salesman Herman Lay, is the number one favorite and sold chips worth 1.7 million U.S. dollars for the 52 weeks ended January 24, 2016. Lay’s are popular worldwide, either under their original name or locally adapted versions, such as Walkers in the United Kingdom and Ireland, Smith's in Australia, Poca in Vietnam, Sabritas in Mexico or Margarita in Colombia.