- Chip Off the Old Guac: Tortilla Chips Statistics & Industry Trend
- Tortilla Chip History
- Main Doritos flavor introduction timeline
- Tortilla Chip Consumption
- Tortilla Chip Industry Trends
- Three’s Company: Guac, Nachos & Salsa
- Tortilla Chips Market Size, Share | Global Industry Trends Report, 2025
- Product Insights
- Distribution Channel Insights
- Regional Insights
- Key Companies & Market Share Insights
- Tortilla Chips Market Report Scope
- Segments Covered in the Report
Chip Off the Old Guac: Tortilla Chips Statistics & Industry Trend
Whether by itself, carrying a scoop of some delicious dip or serving as the foundation of a plate of nachos, Americans have had a love affair with tortilla chips since at least the 1940s.
We love tortilla chips so much we’ve even made a holiday to honor them, National Tortilla Chip Day, which is celebrated every year on Feb. 24.
Let’s take a dip in the waters of all things tortilla chip by learning more about the history of this versatile and crucial snack food.
Tortilla Chip History
It’s easy to assume tortilla chips have been around forever, and that’s probably true to an extent. But the truth is that the modern tortilla chip is a relatively recent invention that’s credited to a pair of Americans.
Jose Martinez: A Texas man who is believed by most to be the inventor of mass-produced masa, or corn dough.
Martinez had lots of surplus masa on his hands after making his tortillas and one day decided to toast the remnants into chips.
Most food scholars credit Martinez with the invention, though the details of his innovation have been lost to time (Taco USA).
Rebecca Webb Carranza: A Los Angeles woman who owned a Mexican restaurant and tortilla factory with her husband is most often credited with inventing mass production of tortilla chips.
In the 1940s, Carranza got the idea to fry and serve tortilla remnants to her family and later decided to bag and sell the chips to her customers.
The idea was so popular that the Carranzas’ company shifted to producing the chips full-time. Carranza was eventually honored for her contribution to Mexican food (Mental Floss).
The most common main ingredient of tortilla chips is yellow corn, but they also can be made from other types of corn, including:
Tortilla chips, while made from corn, are not classified as corn chips, which tend to have a crunchier consistency. Fritos are the most prominent example of corn chips, which differ from tortilla chips both in shape as well as the cooking process (Cook’s Illustrated).
Tortilla chips are made using nixtamalization, a process that mixes corn with an alkaline solution, usually limewater, which softens the corn and makes it easier to process into masa, or corn dough. The process dates as far back as the Aztec and Mayan civilizations.
Highest-rated tortilla chip attribute.
While today’s versions are coated with a variety of flavors, Doritos began life in 1964 as plain tortilla chips (Huffington Post).
A flavor was added to the Dorito a few years after the product was first introduced. Only two flavors have remained consistent over the past few decades.
Main Doritos flavor introduction timeline
- 1967: Taco (not made today)
- 1972: Nacho cheese
- 1994: Cool ranch
The very first Taco Bell.
Two other major fast-casual Mexican chains, Qdoba and Chipotle, came onto the scene in the 1990s (Business Insider).
Tortilla Chip Consumption
Not only are tortilla chips a party necessity, but in many homes, these snackable items have become dietary necessities. And we eat an incredible amount of these golden triangles every year.
tortilla chip sales between May 2018 and May 2019 and the average number of chips in a bag, Americans consumed upwards of 206 billion tortilla chips during that 12-month period.
Consumer’s habits on tortillas.
While tortilla chips are a common food for many people, they are crucial for snacking, and there’s no bigger snacking holiday than the Super Bowl. Sales of tortilla chips and other snacks start surging the week before the big game every year.
Increase of sales in tortillas during the Super Bowl week.
For the 2018 Super Bowl, Americans purchased enough bags of tortilla chips to stretch the width of the United States 2.5 times.
The British record for the largest tortilla chip is held by a 110-pound, 32-square-foot chip baked by six employees of Brewers Fayre.
Paqui produces the world’s spiciest tortilla chip, which comes as a single blue corn tortilla chip seasoned using the Carolina Reaper pepper, the world’s hottest chili pepper.
Paquii makes the word’s spiciest tortilla chip.
Tostitos set an unofficial world record during the 2019 Super Bowl by live-streaming a shot of a bowl of its Scoops chips for 53 straight hours (Media Post).
Tortilla Chip Industry Trends
The worldwide tortilla market, which includes tortilla chips, is expected to expand to more than $12 billion by 2028, and tortilla chips alone accounted for more than $5.5 billion in sales in 2019. Let’s look at the business of tortilla chips.
Tortilla chip sales during 2019.
Tortilla chips aren’t perceived as being particularly unhealthy, but many of them are loaded with sodium and fat, and brands are experimenting with amping up the health factor.
More than 20% of savory tortilla chip brands have increased the amount of protein per serving.
Tortilla chips that claim to have natural ingredients have boosted sales by 4% in recent years.
Brands that offer new flavors are reaping rewards, with hot and spicy flavors growing 14% and cheese flavor growing 12%.
Doritos average search volume.
Three’s Company: Guac, Nachos & Salsa
Tortilla chips can be a satisfying experience on their own or with a party dip a spinach-artichoke dip or queso. But there’s no doubt that plain tortilla chips go best with one (or more) of three dishes — guacamole, nachos and salsa.
Made from mashed avocados and any number of other ingredients (there’s no one standard recipe that qualifies), guacamole is a fan favorite that has its own national holiday.
The world’s largest serving of guacamole.
Average annual search volume for guacamole has increased by 40% in the U.S. over the past decade (Google Trends).
Average search interest for guacamole.
Among fans of the green dip, 42% say they would give up Netflix or alcohol before they’d part with their precious guac (Groupon).
Tortilla chips aren’t just for dipping, and they serve as the foundation of a versatile and popular dish, nachos.
Nachos were invented by Ignacio Anaya, who used his own nickname to coin the moniker of the dish. Anaya served his nachos in 1943 to a group of women whose military husbands were stationed in Texas not far from the Mexican city of Piedras Negras (Time).
The world’s largest serving of nachos.
America’s most expensive plate of nachos is found at the Park Hyatt Hotel in New York City. They go for $210 and aren’t really nachos because they’re made with potato chips instead of tortilla chips.
Still, if you’re wealthy and craving nachos, caviar, chives and hard-boiled egg yolks, you could do worse.
People across the United States are interested in nachos, according to their Google results, but search volume for this addictive dish is highest in Nebraska.
Average U.S. search volume for salsa.
Neither Mexico nor the U.S. can claim to be the global hotbed of nacho lovers. That distinction goes to Norway, which had the highest search volume for the term in the past year.
Average global search volume for nachos.
Made with some combination of red or green tomatoes, onions and jalapenos, and often beans, corn and even fruit, salsa has been America’s favorite condiment since the 1990s.
The world’s largest serving of salsa.
The term salsa was coined by Alonso de Molina in 1571 to describe a dish consisting of tomatoes, chili peppers and ground squash seeds.
A salsa made from Carolina Reaper peppers is said to be the hottest in the world.
Average U.S. search volume for salsa, past 12 months.
Though they’re easy to overlook, tortilla chips have a long history in the U.S. and around the world, and it’s no wonder: Their versatility alone makes them a crucial staple, not only at a party but all year round.
Lea Kuscer is a nature admirer, ecological cosmetics and jewelry maker, avid traveler, language professor by trade, but above all, a marketing maniac who's enthusiastic about testing new products.
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Tortilla Chips Market Size, Share | Global Industry Trends Report, 2025
- Consumer F&B
- Tortilla Chips Market Size, Share, Global Industry Trends Report, 2025
- Published Date: Aug, 2019
- Base Year for Estimate: 2018
- Report ID: GVR-3-68038-706-3
- Format: Electronic (PDF)
- Historical Data: 2015 – 2017
- Number of Pages: 80
The global tortilla chips market size was valued at USD 20.28 billion in 2018 and is expected to register a CAGR of 4.41% from 2019 to 2025. Tortilla chips are also known as tostadas and totopos are of Mexican origin. Changing lifestyle is the most influential factor driving the product demand and growth of this market.
Rising demand for on-the-go food due to hectic work schedules is also estimated to fuel the product demand. Furthermore, the rising number of working individuals across the globe is ly to have a positive impact on product demand. To gain the maximum market share, companies promote their products through endorsements and TV and magazine commercials.
They are also investing in R&D to develop high-quality and healthy products, such as whole-grain and gluten-free chips with low sodium and fat content. Phileas Fogg, Doritos, and Don Tacos are some of the key companies in the market. In addition, a variety of flavors is available in the market to suit consumer needs, which also supports market growth.
For instance, Frito-Lay’s, under the brand Tostitos, offers tortilla chips in several flavors. These flavors include black bean and garlic, jalapeno, lime, red pepper, salsa ranchera, and salsa verde. In addition, globalization has played a major role in the growth of this market.
The conventional product type held the largest market share of more than 93.0% in 2018. Easy availability of regular raw material over organic materials is expected to drive the demand for conventional tortilla chips. Moreover, conventional products are much cheaper than organic products.
This is also ly to have a positive impact on segment growth. However, the organic product segment is estimated to register the maximum CAGR from 2019 to 2025. Rising awareness regarding the benefits of consuming organic foods is ly to augment their demand, thereby supporting segment growth.
Distribution Channel Insights
The offline distribution channel accounts for the largest share of the global tortilla chips market. The reliability of offline stores and dependence on assisted shopping are the key factors driving the offline channels. In addition, the easy availability of a variety of products from different brands and discounts offered by offline stores will boost segment growth.
On the other hand, the online segment is estimated to expand at the fastest CAGR from 2019 to 2025. This can be attributed to the availability of unique products at cheap prices.
In addition, most of the online shopping spaces have collaborations with various banks and thus, provide unique offers.
Moreover, online platforms offer various payment options and doorstep delivery services, which will contribute to segment expansion.
North America is the largest regional market for tortilla chips. The U.S., in particular, is the major consumer due to the strong presence of several prominent Ready-To-Eat (RTE) food brands, which have successfully commercialized their products across the globe.
Asia Pacific, on the other hand, is expected to witness the fastest CAGR of 6.29% during the forecast years. This growth is credited to the easy product availability as a result of a growing number of supermarkets and hypermarkets, as well as online grocery stores, in the region.
Furthermore, increasing consumer disposable income levels and the popularity of western cuisines are contributing to the region’s growth.
Key Companies & Market Share Insights
Some of the key companies in the global tortilla chips market are Frito-Lay, Inc.; Mission Foods; Truco Enterprises LP; Herr’s; Trader Joe’s; GRUMA, S.A.B. de C.V.; Target Brands, Inc.; El Milagro, Inc.
; and Utz Quality Snacks. Increasing demand for organic and healthy products is forcing companies to invest more in R&D.
Thus, product innovation to cater to changing consumer demands is asserting the high competition among manufacturers.
Tortilla Chips Market Report Scope
Market size value in 2020
USD 22.04 billion
Revenue forecast in 2025
USD 27.43 billion
CAGR of 4.4% from 2019 to 2025
Base year for estimation
2015 – 2017
2019 – 2025
Revenue in USD million/billion and CAGR from 2019 to 2025
Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Product, distribution channel, region
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa
U.S.; U.K.; Germany; China; India; Brazil; Saudi Arabia
Key companies profiled
Frito-Lay, Inc.; Mission Foods; Truco Enterprises LP; Herr’s; Trader Joe’s; GRUMA, S.A.B. de C.V.; Target Brands, Inc.; El Milagro, Inc.; Utz Quality Snacks
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Segments Covered in the Report
This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2015 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global tortilla chips market report on the basis of product, distribution channel, and region:
Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2015 – 2025)
Distribution Channel Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2015 – 2025)
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2015 – 2025)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
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