PLANO, TEXAS Flavor combinations like sweet and spicy or tangy and salty are likely to win over consumers wanting to get their snack on, according to a US trend index released June 29 by Frito-Lay, a business owned by PepsiCo, Inc. The snacking survey found strong interest in sustainability issues as well. The survey was conducted online May 26-27 among 2,200 US adults.

When asked if they had to choose one snack element what would they choose, 42% said flavor combinations such as sweet and spicy or tangy and salty. That group towered over regional flavors at 21%, texture at 21% and international flavors at 15%. When asked what factors were more likely to influence their snack selection, 35% said innovative flavors, which ranked ahead of recommendations at 28%, brand recognition at 21%, packaging at 9% and sustainability efforts at 7%. Forty-four percent said trying new snack flavors led them to try other foods with the same flavors.

While 81% of respondents said they enjoyed the social aspect of snacking, Gen Z and millennials, at 45%, were more likely to say they preferred to eat in solitude. Groups more likely to say they snack on the go included Gen Z at 20%, parents at 20% and millennials at 19%.

A brand’s ethics and sustainability practices may influence consumers, too. About two-thirds of respondents said they were more likely to purchase products from companies that invest in local communities while 66% said purchasing sustainable food products was important to them.

“While flavor continues to drive consumers’ food-purchasing behaviors, we know how a company behaves matters, and that’s why I’m proud of Frito-Lay’s commitment to sustainability and community impact,” said Mike Del Pozzo, chief customer officer for Frito-Lay North America.