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Snacking Motivations and Attitudes - US - May 2017

"A high percentage of US adults snack daily, making snacking a huge opportunity for engagement. While the incidence of snacking has remained steady in recent years, frequency is on the rise with the growth coming from snackers, who are upping their snack frequency from 1 time per day to 2-3 times. While health is a factor for consideration, the highest percentage of snackers do so for a treat, meaning even health-focused snacks should appeal with enjoyment."
- Beth Bloom, Senior Analyst, Food and Drink

This Report discusses the following key topics:

  • A quarter of super snackers claim to be too busy to eat a full meal
  • View of what constitutes a snack is expanding
  • Brand plays top role in snack purchase decision, followed by price, health

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • 94% of US adults snack daily; 15% snack 4 or more times per day
            • Figure 1: Snacking frequency, March 2017
          • A quarter of super snackers claim to be too busy to eat a full meal
            • Figure 2: Snack attitudes – Busy, by snack motivation, March 2017
          • View of what constitutes a snack is expanding
            • Figure 3: Snack attitudes – Identifying snacks, March 2017
          • The opportunities
            • The largest percentage of snackers do so for a treat
              • Figure 4: Snacking motivations, March 2017
            • Afternoon is the most popular snack occasion
              • Figure 5: Snacking occasions, March 2017
            • Brand plays top role in snack purchase decision, followed by price, health
              • Figure 6: Snack purchase drivers, March 2017
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • A quarter of young snackers claim to be always hungry
                • 17% of young snackers claim to be too busy to eat a full meal
                  • Consumer view of what constitutes a snack is expanding
                    • 12% of snackers purchase snacks at foodservice
                    • Market Perspective

                      • 12% of snackers purchase snacks at foodservice
                        • Figure 7: Food sales at home and away from home, January 2003-December 2016
                      • Snack delivery services aren’t yet taking hold
                      • Market Factors

                        • A quarter of young snackers claim to be always hungry
                          • Figure 8: Snack attitudes – Hunger, by age, March 2017
                        • A quarter of super snackers claim to be too busy to eat a full meal
                          • Figure 9: “Snackfesto / Lorissa’s Kitchen” TV ad, April 2017
                          • Figure 10: Snack attitudes – Busy, by snack frequency, March 2017
                        • Young snackers are most likely to claim they’re too busy for a full meal
                          • Figure 11: Snack attitudes – Busy, by age, March 2017
                        • A high percentage of consumers skip breakfast
                          • Obesity epidemic keeps health top of mind; 66% of Americans are dieting
                            • Figure 12: Snack attitudes – Health, by snack motivations, March 2017
                          • Consumer view of what constitutes a snack is expanding
                            • Figure 13: Snack attitudes – Identifying snacks, March 2017
                            • Figure 14: Snack behavior – Concept, March 2017
                            • Figure 15: Snack attributes by occasion – Any occasion, by snack frequency, March 2017
                            • Figure 16: Snack behavior – Concept, by age, March 2017
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • Healthy eating and a bit of indulgence drive retail food sales
                            • Snacks appear to be delivering on convenience
                              • A third of snackers are limiting their intake of sweet snacks
                                • Permissible indulgence through “real” food
                                • What’s Working?

                                  • Healthy eating and a bit of indulgence drive retail food sales
                                    • Figure 17: “Snack” launches, by fastest growing claims, 2013-17*
                                  • Snacks appear to be delivering on convenience
                                    • Figure 18: Snack attitudes – Convenience, March 2017
                                  • Older consumers appreciate convenience
                                    • Figure 19: Snack attitudes – Convenience, by age, March 2017
                                • What’s Struggling?

                                  • A third of snackers are limiting their intake of sweet snacks
                                    • Figure 20: Snack behavior – Sweet, March 2017
                                • What’s Next?

                                  • Anything can be a snack
                                    • …including drinks
                                      • Permissible indulgence through “real” food
                                        • Portable health
                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                          • 94% of US adults snack daily; 15% snack 4 or more times per day
                                            • The largest percentage of snackers do so for a treat
                                              • Brand plays top role in snack purchase, followed by price, health
                                                • Afternoon is the most popular snack occasion
                                                  • A third of snackers say the majority of snacks they consume are healthy
                                                  • Snacking Frequency

                                                    • 94% of US adults snack daily; 15% snack 4 or more times per day
                                                      • Figure 21: Snacking frequency, March 2017
                                                    • 16% of snackers have increased snacking in the past year
                                                      • Figure 22: Snack behavior – Increase, March 2017
                                                    • Super snackers are more likely to be male, and consumers under age 45
                                                      • Figure 23: Share of snacking frequency, by gender, March 2017
                                                      • Figure 24: Share of snacking frequency, by age, March 2017
                                                    • Young adult snackers are most likely to have increased snacking
                                                      • Figure 25: Snack behavior – Increase, by age, March 2017
                                                  • Snack Motivations

                                                    • The highest percentage of snackers do so for a treat
                                                      • Figure 26: Snacking motivations, March 2017
                                                    • Mintel Purchase Intelligence finds that indulgence still leads
                                                      • Older snackers are most likely to be looking for reward, younger snackers function
                                                        • Figure 27: Snacking motivations, by age, March 2017
                                                      • Convenience stores lead for treats, natural food stores for health
                                                        • Figure 28: Snacking motivations, by purchase location – Any purchase, March 2017
                                                    • Snack Purchase Location

                                                      • More than a third of snackers most often buy snacks at supermarkets
                                                        • Opportunity exists to increase the purchase of snacks online
                                                          • Amazon ups its snack focus
                                                            • Figure 29: “Introducing Prime Surprise Sweets” online video, April 2017
                                                            • Figure 30: Snack purchase location, March 2017
                                                          • Close to half of 18-24s purchase snacks at convenience stores; nearly a third use vending machines
                                                            • Figure 31: Snack purchase location – Any purchase, by age, March 2017
                                                        • Snack Purchase Drivers

                                                          • Brand plays top role in snack purchase, followed by price, health
                                                            • Figure 32: Snack purchase drivers, March 2017
                                                            • Figure 33: TURF Analysis – Snack purchase drivers, March 2017
                                                            • Figure 34: Table – TURF Analysis – Snack purchase drivers, March 2017
                                                          • Men pay closer attention to brand; women look for deals
                                                            • Figure 35: Snack purchase drivers, by gender, March 2017
                                                          • Low price, new flavors drive purchase for younger snackers
                                                            • Figure 36: Snack purchase drivers, by age, March 2017
                                                          • New flavors are important to super snackers
                                                            • Figure 37: Snack purchase drivers, by snack frequency, March 2017
                                                        • Snacking Occasions

                                                          • Afternoon is the most popular snack occasion
                                                            • Figure 38: Snacking occasions, March 2017
                                                          • Men are more likely to snack at less common occasions
                                                            • Figure 39: Snacking occasions, by gender, March 2017
                                                          • Young snackers start to snack early in the day
                                                            • Figure 40: Snacking occasions, by age, March 2017
                                                        • Snack Attributes by Occasion

                                                          • Snackers want to start the day with energy and health; look for indulgence in the evening
                                                              • Figure 41: Correspondence Analysis – Snack attributes by occasion, March 2017
                                                              • Figure 42: Snack attributes by occasion, March 2017
                                                            • Young adults want snacks that are filling
                                                              • Figure 43: Snack attributes by occasion – Any occasion, by age, March 2017
                                                            • Emotional cues may resonate with Hispanics
                                                              • Figure 44: Snack attributes by occasion – Any occasion, by Hispanic origin, March 2017
                                                            • Healthy eaters look for healthy snacks; exercisers look for energy
                                                              • Figure 45: Snack attributes by occasion – Any occasion, by snack motivation, March 2017
                                                          • Snack Behaviors

                                                            • The majority of snacks are planned
                                                              • Figure 46: Snack behavior – Planning, March 2017
                                                            • Young adult snackers are driven by impulse
                                                              • Figure 47: Snack behavior – Planning, by age, March 2017
                                                          • Snack Health

                                                            • A third of snackers say the majority of snacks they consume are healthy
                                                              • Figure 48: Snack behavior – Health, March 2017
                                                            • Women are more likely than men to claim to be healthy snackers
                                                              • Figure 49: Snack behavior – Health, by gender, March 2017
                                                            • Young adult snackers are not prioritizing health
                                                              • Figure 50: Snack behavior – Health, by age, March 2017
                                                            • Snacks seem to be delivering on health
                                                              • Figure 51: Snack attitudes – Health, March 2017
                                                              • Figure 52: Snack attitudes – Satisfying, March 2017
                                                            • Close to a third of men say taste is more important than health
                                                              • Figure 53: Snack attitudes – Health, by gender, March 2017
                                                            • Expanding healthy snacks can appeal to young adults
                                                              • Figure 54: Snack attitudes – Health, by age, March 2017
                                                            • On-the-go snackers call for healthier options
                                                              • Figure 55: Snack attitudes – Health, by age, March 2017
                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                            • Data sources
                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                  • TURF methodology
                                                                    • Correspondence analysis methodology
                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                        • Abbreviations

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                                                                        Snacking Motivations and Attitudes - US - May 2017

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