IRI Expert Presents the ''State of the Snack Industry''

Wed Apr 9, 2008 12:23pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Presentation Outlines Industry Trends and Growth Opportunities for
                      Convenience Store Operators
CHICAGO--(Business Wire)--
IRI:

   WHO: Sally Lyons Wyatt, Senior Vice President, Client Solutions,
IRI

   WHAT: 2007 was a particularly challenging year for the snack
industry. Manufacturers faced sharp increases in commodity costs,
shrinking display space at retail and stepped up private label
competition. Consumers faced substantial product price increases on
already-tight budgets, while trying to make changes to improve the
healthfulness of their diets. In the end, total industry demand was
flat; dollar sales growth was largely due to price.

   Yet, despite these challenges, the convenience store channel
delivered solid growth across snack categories in 2007 overall. And,
while convenience store snack sales softened in the back half of the
year and in early 2008, they are back on the upswing.

   In this address, consumer snacking trends expert Sally Lyons Wyatt
will explain the drivers behind industry performance and will showcase
innovative brands, marketing and in-store tactics. Leveraging insights
from IRI's annual Consumer Snacking Study, based on extensive primary
consumer research and analysis of consumer purchase behavior, she will
highlight distinct growth opportunities for the coming year through
new products, marketing and merchandising.

   WHY: The rules of the game have changed. While shifts in consumer
snacking behavior have historically followed a slow, evolutionary
path, as we have seen in the transition from indulgent to healthier
snacking, we are now seeing more dramatic change. The economy--price
increases, in particular--has driven substantial changes in both
shopping and purchase behavior during the past year, and all
indicators suggest that further change is likely. In addition,
consumers are now considering a broader range of factors in snack
choices that include not only nutrition and calories, but also disease
management and prevention benefits. Factors such as how an item's
production has impacted the environment are also increasingly
important. Both manufacturers and retailers need to understand the new
rules to differentiate their snack offerings in a crowded market.

   This presentation will address such critical questions as:

   --  Which segments of the snack industry are enjoying true demand
        growth?

   --  How have price increases impacted shopping and purchase
        behaviors?

   --  What product attributes will be in high demand?

   --  How have consumer attitudes towards healthier vs. indulgent
        products changed?

   --  How can consumer communication strategies deliver competitive
        advantage?

   WHEN: April 14, 2008

   8:30 a.m. CDT

   WHERE: 5th Annual CSP Snack & Candy Category Review

   San Antonio, Texas

   www.cspnet.com

   About IRI

   IRI is the world's leading provider of consumer, shopper, and
retail market intelligence and insights supporting 95 percent of the
FORTUNE Global 500 consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail and
healthcare companies. Only IRI offers the unique combination of
integrated market information, automated and predictive analytics,
innovative enabling technologies, and domain expertise. With IRI,
leading retailers and manufacturers are able to quickly discover
breakthrough insights driving smarter decisions and actions across the
enterprise for breakthrough results. Companies around the world depend
on IRI for improved productivity, stronger brands, and dramatic
revenue growth. For more information, visit http://us.infores.com.

IRI
John McIndoe
E-mail: john.mcindoe@infores.com
Phone: (312) 474-3862
Shelley Hughes
E-mail: shelley.hughes@infores.com
Phone: (312) 474-3675

Copyright Business Wire 2008