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The Snacking Occasion - US - February 2014

“As consumers continue to adopt a snacking culture, choosing to snack anywhere, anytime, and on practically anything, the format and function of snacks will need to evolve to meet their needs. Snacks with healthy claims and natural ingredients are still important; however, snackers still want to indulge responsibly from time to time. Resealable and single-serving packaging can help promote consumption of snacks during nontraditional occasions, as well as encourage the use of snacks as meal replacements, rather than just tummy fillers.”

– Amanda Topper, Food Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • What impact does health have on the snack market?
  • Can snacks move beyond their traditional consumption occasions?
  • How can snack formats adapt to the snacking lifestyle?

Consumers continue to adopt a snacking lifestyle, choosing to eat a variety of snacks anytime, anywhere. These snacking choices differ based on location, nutritional preferences, and an assortment of motivations for snacking. While healthy snacks and nutritional product claims are top of mind for consumers, a sense of indulgence, especially while at home, remains important to many. Portable, resealable, and single-serve options are making it more convenient than ever for consumers to snack on their favorite foods both at home and at locations away from home. Product development, especially related to packaging and ingredients, can help various snack categories move beyond their traditional snacking occasions.

This report provides a comprehensive and comparative view of how snacks across food categories compete against one another for consumption across day parts and locations. The report looks into the frequency with which snacks are consumed as well as motivations for snacking, snacking behaviors by location, and attributes associated with particular snacks.

In this report we reference specific snacking day parts including morning, afternoon, and evening. We also reference snacking occasions including between meals and in place of a meal. It is important to note many of these occasions can overlap.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Abbreviations and terms
              • Abbreviations
              • Executive Summary

                  • The consumer
                    • Fruits and vegetables most common snack in last six months
                      • Figure 1: Snacks eaten in past six months – Any consumption, top five, November 2013
                    • Snacks mostly eaten between meals, younger consumers more likely to replace meals
                        • Figure 2: Timing of snacking occasion – Between meals and in place of a meal, top five, November 2013
                      • Packaging, ingredient claims most influential on purchases
                        • Figure 3: Factors when choosing a snack, top five, November 2013
                      • Snacking mainly serves a functional purpose
                        • Figure 4: Reasons for snacking, top five, November 2013
                      • More routine snacking at home, 18-24s extra adventurous away from home
                        • Figure 5: Snacking behaviors, by location, at home, November 2013
                        • Figure 6: Snacking behaviors, by location, away from home, November 2013
                      • What we think
                      • Issues and Insights

                          • What impact does health have on the snack market?
                            • Issues
                              • Insight: Health is top of mind, but there’s still room for indulgence
                                • Can snacks move beyond their traditional consumption occasions?
                                  • Issues
                                    • Insight: Occasions can evolve based on altered formats and nutrition
                                      • How can snack formats adapt to the snacking lifestyle?
                                        • Issues
                                          • Insight: Portability and functionality should be a key focus
                                          • Trend Applications

                                              • Trend: Snack Society
                                                • Trend: The Power of One
                                                  • Mintel Futures: Generation Next
                                                  • Innovations and Innovators

                                                    • On-the-go formats
                                                      • Small format, big indulgence
                                                        • All-in-one nutrition
                                                          • Packaged for the occasion
                                                          • Marketing Strategies

                                                            • Overview of the brand landscape
                                                              • Theme: Promising satiety and energy
                                                                • California Almonds provide “a handful of jet fuel”
                                                                  • Figure 7: The Almond Board of California print ad, June 2013
                                                                  • Figure 8: California Almonds YouTube video, “Crunch On,” 2013
                                                                  • Figure 9: Almond Board of California e-store, January 2014
                                                                • Sargento is “oh so satisfying”
                                                                  • Figure 10: Sargento print ad, August 2013
                                                                • Theme: Portion control and portability through packaging innovation
                                                                  • Wholly Guacamole offers 100-calorie Minis
                                                                      • Figure 11: Wholly Guacamole YouTube video, “OMGuac! new Wholly Guacamole Minis,” 2013
                                                                      • Figure 12: Wholly Guacamole website, 2014
                                                                      • Figure 13: Wholly Guacamole print ad, September 2013
                                                                    • SnackWell’s tells consumers to “be bad”
                                                                      • Figure 14: SnackWell’s website, 2014
                                                                    • Theme: A little indulgence goes a long way
                                                                      • Philadelphia Snack Delights are “a sweet upgrade”
                                                                        • Figure 15: Philadelphia print ad, June 2013
                                                                        • Figure 16: Philadelphia YouTube video, 2013
                                                                      • Theme: Focusing on day parts and occasions
                                                                        • Yoplait suggests a midday snack swap
                                                                          • Figure 17: Yoplait YouTube video, 2013
                                                                          • Figure 18: Yoplait online ad, 2013
                                                                        • Tyson targets get-togethers
                                                                          • Figure 19: Tyson print ad, June 2013
                                                                      • Social Media – The Snacking Occasion

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Key social media metrics
                                                                            • Figure 20: Key social media metrics, January 2014
                                                                          • Market overview
                                                                            • Brand usage and awareness
                                                                              • Figure 21: Brand usage and awareness, November 2013
                                                                            • Interaction with snack brands
                                                                              • Figure 22: Interaction with selected snack brands, November 2013
                                                                            • Online conversations
                                                                                • Figure 23: Online conversations around selected snack brands, by day, July 7, 2013-Jan. 6, 2014
                                                                              • Where are people talking about snack brands?
                                                                                • Figure 24: Online conversations around selected snack brands, by page type, July 7, 2013-Jan. 6, 2014
                                                                              • What are people talking about?
                                                                                • Figure 25: Unbranded conversations surrounding snacking, July 7, 2013-Jan. 6, 2014
                                                                                • Figure 26: Word cloud for unbranded mentions of snacking, July 7, 2013-Jan. 6, 2014
                                                                              • Analysis by brand
                                                                                • OREO
                                                                                  • Figure 27: Social media metrics – OREO, January 2014
                                                                                • Slim Jim
                                                                                  • Figure 28: Social media metrics – Slim Jim, January 2014
                                                                                • Chobani
                                                                                  • Figure 29: Social media metrics – Chobani, January 2014
                                                                                • Nature Valley
                                                                                  • Figure 30: Social media metrics – Nature Valley, January 2014
                                                                                • Totino’s
                                                                                  • Figure 31: Social media metrics – Totino’s, January 2014
                                                                                • Sargento
                                                                                  • Figure 32: Social media metrics – Sargento, January 2014
                                                                              • Types of Snacks Consumed

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Both healthy and indulgent snacks top list of most consumed snacks
                                                                                    • Figure 33: Snacks eaten in past six months – Any consumption, November 2013
                                                                                    • Figure 34: Snacks eaten in past six months – Any consumption, by presence of children in household, November 2013
                                                                                    • Figure 35: Snacks eaten in past six months – Any consumption, by generations, November 2013
                                                                                • Snacks Eaten Between Meals

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Protein possibilities
                                                                                      • Older consumers less likely to snack between meals
                                                                                        • Figure 36: Timing of snacking occasion – Between meals, by generations, November 2013
                                                                                    • Snacks Eaten in Place of a Meal

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Less meal-replacement use overall
                                                                                          • Younger consumers more likely to use snacks as meal replacements
                                                                                              • Figure 37: Timing of snacking occasion – In place of a meal, by gender and age, November 2013
                                                                                          • Morning Snacks

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Morning snacking habits traditional in nature
                                                                                                • Figure 38: Timing of snacking occasion – Morning, by generations, November 2013
                                                                                            • Afternoon Snacks

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Soup popular in the afternoon
                                                                                                  • Younger snackers eat various single-serve snacks
                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Timing of snacking occasion – Afternoon, by generations, November 2013
                                                                                                • Evening Snacks

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • The sweetest evening occasion?
                                                                                                      • Salty snacks, cereal create opportunities to appeal to 18-24s
                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Timing of snacking occasion – Evening, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                    • Snacking Locations

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Snack format is a strong indicator for consumption location
                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Locations of snacking occasion, November 2013
                                                                                                          • 18-34s eating a variety of snacks away from home
                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Locations of snacking occasion – Away from home, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                          • At-home consumption skews toward those aged 45+
                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Locations of snacking occasion – Home, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                        • Important Factors When Choosing a Snack

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Ingredients, packaging largest factors for snack purchases
                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Factors when choosing a snack, November 2013
                                                                                                              • Younger snackers seek variety, older consumers want health
                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Factors when choosing a snack, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                            • Reasons for Snacking

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Snacking for functional reasons
                                                                                                                  • Snacking for health
                                                                                                                    • 18-34s snacking to save time, money
                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Reasons for snacking, by gender and age, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Snacking Behaviors by Location

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Older consumers prefer routine snacking at home
                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Snacking behaviors by location, at home, and by age, November 2013
                                                                                                                        • Younger snackers more adventurous, seek convenience outside home
                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Snacking behaviors by location, away from home, and by age, November 2013
                                                                                                                      • Attributes Associated with Snacks

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Taste, convenience trump function and health
                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Attributes associated with snacks, November 2013
                                                                                                                          • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Highest consumption of frozen snacks among Blacks
                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Snacks eaten in past six months – Any consumption, by race and Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Timing of snacking occasion – Morning, by race and Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                              • Non-Whites more likely to snack on the go
                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Locations of snacking occasion – On the go, by race and Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                              • Hispanics, Blacks most interested in natural, gluten free
                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Factors when choosing a snack, by race and Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                              • Non-Whites and Hispanics more likely to snack for monetary reasons
                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Reasons for snacking, by race and Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                              • Blacks, Hispanics more adventurous snackers at home and away
                                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Snacking behaviors, by location and by race and Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                            • Correspondence Analysis – Snacking Occasions

                                                                                                                              • Methodology
                                                                                                                                • Opportunities for unconventional snacking occasions
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Correspondence analysis, February 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Timing of snacking occasion, February 2014
                                                                                                                                • Correspondence Analysis – Snack Attributes

                                                                                                                                  • Methodology
                                                                                                                                    • Taste triumphs across snack types
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Correspondence analysis, February 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Attributes associated with snacks, February 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                      • Health and lifestyle
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: American adults, by weight category as determined by body mass index (BMI), 2008-Oct. 28, 2013
                                                                                                                                      • Childhood and teen obesity – Highest in decades
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents aged 2-19, 1971-2010
                                                                                                                                        • Consumer confidence
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment (ICS), 2007-13
                                                                                                                                        • Unemployment
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: US unemployment rate, by month, 2002-13
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 64: US unemployment and underemployment rates, 2007-13
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 65: Number of employed civilians in US, 2007-13
                                                                                                                                        • Retail channels
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Distribution of expenditures on food for off-premise consumption, by channel, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                        • Racial, ethnic population growth
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: US population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2009, 2014, and 2019
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Households with children, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Shifting US demographics
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 69: US population, by age, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: US households, by presence of own children, 2003-13
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Locations of snacking occasion – On the go, by generations, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Reasons for snacking, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Reasons for snacking, by generations, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Opinions about diet and health, by gender, May 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Opinions about diet and health, by race and Hispanic origin, May 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Opinions about diet and health, April 2007-June 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 77: Attitudes/Opinions about food, May 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Social Media – The Snacking Occasion

                                                                                                                                          • Brand usage or awareness
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 78: Brand usage or awareness, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 79: Sargento usage or awareness, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 80: Totino’s usage or awareness, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 81: Nature Valley usage or awareness, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 82: OREO usage or awareness, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 83: Slim Jim usage or awareness, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 84: Chobani usage or awareness, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Activities done
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 85: Activities done, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 86: Sargento – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 87: Sargento – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 88: Sargento – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 89: Sargento – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 90: Totino’s – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 91: Totino’s – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 92: Totino’s – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 93: Totino’s – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 94: Nature Valley – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 95: Nature Valley – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 96: Nature Valley – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 97: Nature Valley – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 98: OREO – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 99: OREO – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 100: OREO – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 101: OREO – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 102: Slim Jim – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 103: Slim Jim – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 104: Slim Jim – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 105: Chobani – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 106: Chobani – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Online conversations
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 107: Online conversations around selected snack brands, by day, July 7, 2013-Jan. 6, 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 108: Online conversations around selected snack brands, by page type, July 7, 2013-Jan. 6, 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 109: Unbranded conversations surrounding snacking, July 7, 2013-Jan. 6, 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                          • Sargento Foods Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                          The Snacking Occasion - US - February 2014

                                                                                                                                          £3,277.28 (Excl.Tax)