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Healthy Snacking - US - July 2012

At a time when America’s obesity problem is receiving extensive coverage from the media, consumers are becoming more aware of the long-term potential health implications of their eating habits. Unlike some other eating occasions, snacking is most associated with fun and perhaps even indulgence, which can make it challenging for the snack industry to try and re-position some of its products as being consistent with the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. However, Americans’ quest to manage their health more effectively by closely monitoring their eating habits may create an opportunity for the snack industry to re-invent itself a bit to remain relevant to health-conscious consumers.

With this in mind, Mintel has taken an in-depth look into the mindset of consumers to provide insights on a wide range of topics that can help the snack industry determine the best strategies for maximizing sales opportunities when targeting healthy snackers. Specifically, this report shares insights on the following topics:

  • What market factors have the potential to impact the snack industry the most and what can manufacturers and retailers do to turn challenges into opportunities?
  • What are snackers’ views of the various snacking options? In particular, which snacks are considered healthy and which are not viewed favorably?
  • What effect will the various food labeling systems have on the snack industry as manufacturers and retailers look to be more transparent with nutritional information?
  • Given the highly competitive snacking market, what have manufacturers and retailers been doing in terms of innovation to generate buzz around their products?
  • What types of marketing strategies are most likely to resonate with the snacking consumer? Given the wide range of snackers’ ages, how much of a factor is social media and other vehicles that skew toward a younger audience?
  • What are the most important considerations for snackers when making a purchase decision? How much of a role do demographic factors (e.g., age, household income, gender, race) play in consumers buying habits?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer data
            • Acronyms and terms
              • Acronyms
                • Terms
                • Executive Summary

                    • Consumers seem receptive to healthy snacks
                      • Figure 1: Top five snack attributes that matter, March 2012
                      • Figure 2: Frequency of snack consumption, by type, March 2012
                      • Figure 3: Attitudes toward healthy snacks, March 2012
                    • Snacking behavior relatively unchanged in recent years
                      • Figure 4: Percentage of respondents who snack between meals
                      • Figure 5: Percentage of respondents who consider calories when eating
                    • Consumers interested in nutritional information
                      • Figure 6: Percentage of respondents who actively seek out nutritional information
                      • Figure 7: Population percentage change, by race and Hispanic origin, 2006-16
                    • Fresh fruit and raw vegetables are viewed as healthiest snack options
                      • Figure 8: Very healthy top five ranking, based on health perception ranking for consumed snacks, March 2012
                      • Figure 9: Very healthy bottom five ranking, based on health perception ranking for consumed snacks, March 2012
                    • Snacking done throughout the day in a variety of locations
                      • Figure 10: Snack consumption, time of day, March 2012
                      • Figure 11: Snack consumption, locations, March 2012
                    • What we think
                    • Issues in the Market

                        • Have nutritional labeling systems been helping or hurting the healthy snacking market?
                          • What role is innovation playing in bringing snacks to the marketplace?
                          • Insights and Opportunities

                            • Obtain health association endorsements to establish credibility
                              • Extend sales distribution to include vending machines
                                • Leverage private label to address consumers’ pricing concerns
                                  • Healthy snacks as an occasional meal substitute
                                    • Develop cereal as a viable snacking option
                                      • Growth through acquisition of specialized companies
                                      • Inspire Insights

                                          • The Real Thing
                                            • Life Coaching
                                            • Market Drivers

                                              • Key points
                                                • Snacking attitudes relatively unchanged in recent years
                                                  • Figure 12: Attitudes relating to nutrition, health, and snacking, January 2007 - November 2011
                                                  • Figure 13: Attitudes relating to nutrition, health, and snacking, by gender, October 2010 - November 2011
                                                  • Figure 14: Attitudes relating to nutrition, health, and snacking, by age, October 2010 - November 2011
                                                  • Figure 15: Attitudes relating to nutrition, health, and snacking, by household income, October 2010-November 2011
                                                  • Figure 16: Attitudes relating to nutrition, health, and snacking, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2010-November 2011
                                                  • Figure 17: Population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2006-16
                                                • Food rating systems make it easier to identify healthy snacks
                                                  • Healthy snacks are perceived as costing more
                                                    • Figure 18: Real disposable income, January 2007-March 2012
                                                • Competitive Context

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Snackers favor less processed snacks such as fresh fruit and vegetables
                                                      • Wide range of snacks perceived as healthy by snackers
                                                        • Figure 19: “Very Healthy” or “Somewhat Healthy” perception for consumed snacks, March 2012
                                                      • Manufacturers looking to fatten up on healthy snacks market
                                                        • Vending machines offering healthier snacks
                                                        • Innovations and Innovators

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Snack launches rebound as manufacturers invest in market again
                                                              • Figure 20: Snack product launches, by category, 2008-12
                                                            • Kosher top new product claim
                                                              • Figure 21: Snack product launches, by top health claims, 2008-12
                                                            • Top companies account for nearly 20% of launches
                                                              • Figure 22: Snack product launches, by top companies, 2008-12
                                                            • Private label’s share of snack launches grows
                                                              • Figure 23: Snack product launches, by private label and name brands, 2008-12
                                                            • Product innovations
                                                              • BFY
                                                                • Meal substitutes
                                                                  • Children-focused products
                                                                    • Fruits/vegetables-based products
                                                                    • Marketing Strategies

                                                                        • Overview
                                                                          • Birds Eye takes positive view with Gen Veg campaign
                                                                            • Smartphone app guides snacking decision process
                                                                              • Chobani Champions hopes it is a winner with kids
                                                                                • Ritz Crackerfuls repositioned toward busy, younger snackers
                                                                                • Exercise and Dietary Behavior

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Younger respondents among the most frequent exercisers
                                                                                        • Figure 24: Self-health evaluation—exercise, by age, March 2012
                                                                                        • Figure 25: Self-health evaluation—exercise, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                        • Figure 26: Self-health evaluation—exercise, by presence of children in household, March 2012
                                                                                        • Figure 27: Self-health evaluation—exercise, by education, March 2012
                                                                                      • Small percentage of respondents maintain strict diet
                                                                                        • Figure 28: Self-health evaluation—nutrition/diet, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                        • Figure 29: Self-health evaluation—nutrition/diet, by age, March 2012
                                                                                        • Figure 30: Self-health evaluation—nutrition/diet, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                        • Figure 31: Self-health evaluation—nutrition/diet, by education, March 2012
                                                                                      • Frequent exercisers most likely to pay attention to how they eat
                                                                                        • Figure 32: Self-health evaluation—nutrition/diet, by self-health evaluation—exercise, March 2012
                                                                                    • Snack Consumption by Type

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Snackers not loyal to a single snacking option
                                                                                          • Figure 33: Snack consumption, by type, March 2012
                                                                                          • Figure 34: Snack consumption by type—top 10, by age, March 2012
                                                                                          • Figure 35: Snack consumption by type—top 10, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                        • Frequent exercisers give a lift to healthier snacks
                                                                                          • Figure 36: Snack consumption by type, by self-health evaluation—exercise, March 2012
                                                                                          • Figure 37: Snack consumption by type, by self-health evaluation—nutrition/diet, March 2012
                                                                                      • Health Perception for Consumed Snacks

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Consumers view fresh fruit and raw vegetables in healthy light
                                                                                            • Figure 38: Health perception for consumed snacks, March 2012
                                                                                          • Fresh fruit viewed as “very healthy” by all age groups
                                                                                            • Figure 39: Health perception for consumed snacks, by age, March 2012
                                                                                            • Figure 40: Health perception for consumed snacks, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                          • Snack bars, popcorn, and canned soup may be able to improve their image
                                                                                            • Figure 41: Health perception for consumed snacks—next 12 foods, by age, March 2012
                                                                                            • Figure 42: Health perception for consumed snacks—next 12 foods, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                          • Frequent exercisers most likely to have “very healthy” view of snacks
                                                                                            • Figure 43: Health perception for consumed snacks, by self-health evaluation—exercise, March 2012
                                                                                            • Figure 44: Health perception for consumed snacks, by self-health evaluation—nutrition/diet, March 2012
                                                                                        • Snack Attributes that Matter

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Women expect more from snacks
                                                                                              • Figure 45: Snack attributes that matter, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                              • Figure 46: Snack attributes that matter, by age, March 2012
                                                                                              • Figure 47: Snack attributes that matter, by education, March 2012
                                                                                            • Exercise levels correlate with interest in BFY and natural/organic snacks
                                                                                              • Figure 48: Snack attributes that matter, by self-health evaluation—exercise, March 2012
                                                                                              • Figure 49: Snack attributes that matter, by self-health evaluation—nutrition/diet, March 2012
                                                                                            • Women more likely than men to pay attention to nutritional attributes
                                                                                              • Figure 50: Snack attributes that matter (nutritional), by gender, March 2012
                                                                                              • Figure 51: Snack attributes that matter (nutritional), by age, March 2012
                                                                                          • Snack Consumption Throughout the Day

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Time of day, location, and activity influence snack consumption
                                                                                                • Figure 52: Snack consumption throughout the day, March 2012
                                                                                                • Figure 53: Snack consumption throughout the day—typically eat snacks at this time, by age, March 2012
                                                                                                • Figure 54: Snack consumption throughout the day—typically eat snacks at this time, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                                • Figure 55: Snack consumption throughout the day—typically eat snacks at this time, by presence of children in household, March 2012
                                                                                                • Figure 56: Snack consumption throughout the day—typically eat snacks at this time, by education, March 2012
                                                                                              • Frequent exercisers generate highest healthy snacking response
                                                                                                • Figure 57: Typically eat snacks at this time, by self-health evaluation—exercise, March 2012
                                                                                                • Figure 58: Typically eat snacks at this time, by self-health evaluation—nutrition/diet, March 2012
                                                                                            • Attitudes Toward Healthy Snacks

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Women more likely than men to indulge in unhealthy snacks
                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Attitudes toward healthy snacks, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Attitudes toward healthy snacks, by age, March 2012
                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Attitudes toward healthy snacks, by employment, March 2012
                                                                                                • Non-exercisers least likely to be interested in healthy snacking
                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Attitudes toward healthy snacks, by self-health evaluation—exercise, March 2012
                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Attitudes toward healthy snacks, by self-health evaluation—nutrition/diet, March 2012
                                                                                              • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Asians focused on exercise
                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Self-health evaluation—exercise, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2012
                                                                                                  • Asians have an appetite for eating well
                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Self-health evaluation—nutrition/diet, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2012
                                                                                                  • Blacks rank among leaders for snacks chosen “most of the time”
                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Snack consumption by type—top 10, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2012
                                                                                                  • Asians least likely to view snack categories as “very healthy”
                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Health perception for consumed snacks—top 10, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2012
                                                                                                  • Snack perceptions fairly similar among multicultural groups
                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Health perception for consumed snacks—next 12 foods, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2012
                                                                                                  • Asians focus on healthier snack attributes
                                                                                                    • Figure 69: Snack attributes that matter, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2012
                                                                                                  • Asians seek out snacks that support their healthy lifestyle
                                                                                                    • Figure 70: Snack attributes that matter (nutritional), by race/Hispanic origin, March 2012
                                                                                                  • Multicultural groups’ snacking habits are quite diverse
                                                                                                    • Figure 71: Snack consumption throughout the day—typically eat snacks at this time, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2012
                                                                                                  • Asians seeking more interesting flavor experience
                                                                                                    • Figure 72: Attitudes toward healthy snacks, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2012
                                                                                                • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                    • Cluster 1: Affluent Fitness
                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                            • Cluster 2: Manly on a Budget
                                                                                                              • Demographics
                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                    • Cluster 3: Fortified Snackers
                                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                            • Cluster 4: Mixed Bag
                                                                                                                              • Demographics
                                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                    • Cluster characteristic tables
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 73: Target groups, March 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 74: Self health evaluation—exercise, by target groups, March 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 75: Self health evaluation—nutrition/diet, by target groups, March 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 76: Snack consumption by type—top 10, by target groups, March 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 77: Health perception for consumed snacks—top 10, by target groups, March 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 78: Health perception for consumed snacks—next 12 foods, by target groups, March 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 79: Snack attributes that matter, by target groups, March 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 80: Snack attributes that matter (nutritional), by target groups, March 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 81: Snack consumption throughout the day—typically eat snacks at this time, by target groups, March 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 82: Attitudes toward healthy snacks, by target groups, March 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Cluster demographic tables
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 83: Target groups, by demographics, March 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix—Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                        • Figure 84: Self-health evaluation—exercise, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 85: Snack consumption by type—top 10, by education, March 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 86: Health perception for consumed snacks, by presence of children in household, March 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 87: Health perception for consumed snacks, by education, March 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 88: Health perception for consumed snacks—next 12 foods, by presence of children in household, March 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 89: Health perception for consumed snacks—next 12 foods, by education, March 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 90: Snack attributes that matter, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 91: Snack attributes that matter, by employment, March 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 92: Snack attributes that matter (nutritional), by self-health evaluation—exercise, March 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 93: Snack attributes that matter (nutritional), by self-health evaluation—Nutrition/diet, March 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 94: Snack consumption throughout the day—typically eat snacks at this time, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 95: Snack consumption throughout the day—typically eat snacks at this time, by employment, March 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 96: Attitudes toward healthy snacks, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 97: Attitudes toward healthy snacks, by presence of children in household, March 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 98: Attitudes toward healthy snacks, by education, March 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 99: Changes in food price indexes, 2009-12
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 100: Population, by age, 2006-16
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 101: Population, by generation, 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 102: Households by presence of children, 2001-11
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 103: Unemployment and underemployment rate, January 2007-April 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 104: Consumer sentiment index, January 2007–April 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                      • Aldi (USA)
                                                                                                                                      • American Nutraceutical Association (ANA)
                                                                                                                                      • Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.
                                                                                                                                      • Community Alliance with Family Farmers
                                                                                                                                      • Food Institute
                                                                                                                                      • Food Marketing Institute
                                                                                                                                      • Frito-Lay, Inc
                                                                                                                                      • General Mills Inc
                                                                                                                                      • Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)
                                                                                                                                      • International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements
                                                                                                                                      • International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC)
                                                                                                                                      • Kellogg Company
                                                                                                                                      • Kraft Foods Inc. (U.S.A.)
                                                                                                                                      • Natural Products Association
                                                                                                                                      • Quaker
                                                                                                                                      • Snyder's of Hanover
                                                                                                                                      • Trader Joe's Company Inc
                                                                                                                                      • U.S. Department of Agriculture
                                                                                                                                      • Walgreen Co

                                                                                                                                      Healthy Snacking - US - July 2012

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