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Consumer Snacking Habits - Ireland - July 2019

Covered in this report

This report examines consumers’ snacking habits, defined as eating between meals in the home, out of home (eg at work) and on the go (eg when travelling). Included in this report is also the development of snacks being used as a replacement to tradition mealtimes such as breakfast and lunch.

For the purpose of this report, snack foods are defined as fruit and vegetables, crisps, nuts and corn snacks, chocolate confectionery, cheese, yogurt and cereal bars, and breakfast biscuits, meal replacements, ice cream and other snack foods. Milkshakes and other soft drinks have been excluded.

Please note due to the diverse nature of food and drink that can be used as a snack, and difficulty defining what purchases are made for the purpose of snacking, this Report does not include market size data.

“Snacking continues to be, for many, a daily activity. While healthy snack items are finding a place in consumers’ shopping baskets, treat items such as chocolate and crisps remain important to Irish consumers therefore delivering on quality and indulgence will be imperative for sweet snacks’ continued success.”
– Emma McGeown, Research Analyst

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Consumers snack twice a day
  • UK food prices on the rise while RoI prices tumble
  • Snacks move into meals on the go
  • Healthier snacks demanded as obesity rates rise
  • Lifestyle trends cause brands to innovate in healthy snacking

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Issues covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • Market factors
            • Consumers snack twice a day
              • UK food prices on the rise while RoI prices tumble
                • Snacks move into meals on the go
                  • Healthier snacks demanded as obesity rates rise
                    • Lifestyle trends cause brands to innovate in healthy snacking
                      • Companies and innovations
                        • The consumer
                          • Chocolate and crisps popular but fruit is the go-to snack
                            • Figure 1: Types of sweet snack food that consumers have eaten in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2019
                          • Home remains the top location for snacking
                            • Figure 2: Where consumers have eaten snacks in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2018
                          • Parents monitor what children are eating
                            • Figure 3: Agreement with statements related to snack foods and snacking habits, NI and RoI, June 2019
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • Consumer snacking habits look promising
                            • RoI food prices drop while UK prices soar
                              • Traditional meals under threat from ‘sanctification’
                                • Rising obesity rates shed light on unhealthy snacks
                                  • Lifestyle trends cause brands to innovate in healthy snacking
                                  • Market Drivers

                                    • Most snack 2-3 times a day
                                      • Figure 4: Frequency consumers snack between meals on average day, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                      • Figure 5: Consumers who snack twice in a regular day, by gender, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                    • Food prices on the rise in the UK but falling in RoI
                                      • Figure 6: Consumer Price Index for food, RoI, May 2017-Apr 2019
                                      • Figure 7: Consumer Price Index, by sub-category, RoI, September 2017-April 2019
                                      • Figure 8: Consumer Price Index for food and drink, UK (including NI), May 2017-April 2019
                                      • Figure 9: Consumer Price Index, by sub-category, UK including NI, September 2017-April 2019
                                    • Snacks ‘eating’ into other meal occasions
                                      • Figure 10: Consumer agreement with statements related to breakfast, NI and RoI, August 2018
                                      • Figure 11: The amount of time consumers spent eating lunch on an everyday occasion in the last three months, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                    • Obesity rates rising could spell trouble for snacking category
                                      • Figure 12: Overweight and obesity levels in adults aged 16+, NI, 2010/11-2017/18
                                      • Figure 13: Overweight and obesity levels in adults aged 15+, RoI, 2015/16 and 2016/17
                                    • Children’s obesity rates cause parents to seek out healthier alternatives
                                      • Sugar crackdown prompts snacks to innovate
                                        • Figure 14: How consumers manage their sugar intake, NI and RoI, June 2017
                                      • A focus on protein remains in snacking but fibre is emerging
                                      • Who’s Innovating? – What You Need to Know

                                        • Environmental claims remain widespread in snacking
                                          • Snacks look to alcohol to appeal to adults
                                            • Adding vegetables to sweet biscuits gives a healthier image
                                              • Can healthy crisps be considered indulgent too?
                                              • Who’s Innovating?

                                                  • Snacking continues to be an innovative and dynamic occasion
                                                    • Figure 15: Total new products launched in snacks categories, UK and Ireland, January 14-May 2019
                                                    • Figure 16: Total new products launched in the snacks categories, by percentage growth of claims, UK and Ireland, 2014-18
                                                  • Innovation in snack and energy bars almost doubles
                                                    • Figure 17: New product development of snack, energy and cereal bars launched in the UK and Ireland, by select claims, 2014-18
                                                  • Are collagen claims next for snack bars?
                                                    • Pastries and sweet goods see 40% growth in NPD
                                                      • Figure 18: New product development of cakes, pastries and sweet goods launched in the UK and Ireland, by select claims, 2014-19
                                                    • Chocolate positions indulgence
                                                      • Sugar reduction in chocolate becomes mainstream
                                                        • NPD in sweet biscuits soars but opportunities exist in savoury biscuits
                                                          • Figure 19: New product development of sweet biscuits/cookies and savoury biscuits/crackers launched in the UK and Ireland, 2014-19
                                                        • Alcohol-pairing biscuits targets adults
                                                          • Five a day crisps: the future?
                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                            • Chocolate favoured in sweet snacking but crisps top salty snacks
                                                              • Home preferred for snacking but on-the-go consumption increasing
                                                                • Healthy snacks preferred at retailer checkout
                                                                • Types of Snacks Eaten

                                                                    • Sweet biscuits remain a favourite
                                                                      • Figure 20: Types of sweet snack food that consumers have eaten in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                    • Chocolate is the most popular sweet snack
                                                                      • Figure 21: Consumers who have eaten chocolate in the last two weeks as a snack, by gender and generation, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                      • Figure 22: Chocolate and confectionery preferences, by branded vs own-label, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                                                    • Crisps are the top savoury snack
                                                                      • Figure 23: Types of savoury snack food that consumers have eaten in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                    • Crisps can tap into foodservice trends
                                                                      • Figure 24: Consumers who have eaten crisps in the last two weeks as a snack, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                    • Yogurt remains popular for snacking
                                                                      • Figure 25: Types of other snack food that consumers have eaten in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                    • Frozen fruit and veg snack pots can target waste-conscious consumers
                                                                      • Figure 26: Consumers who have eaten fruit and/or vegetables in the last two weeks as a snack, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                  • Snacking Locations

                                                                      • Nine in 10 snack at home
                                                                        • Figure 27: Where consumers have eaten snacks in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                                                      • Home snacking offers potential for indulgence positioning
                                                                        • Figure 28: Consumers who have eaten snacks while at home in the last two weeks, by generation, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                      • Travelling creates more demand for on-the-go functionality
                                                                        • Figure 29: Consumers who have eaten snacks while commuting/travelling vs while out shopping in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                    • Attitudes towards Snacking

                                                                        • Eight in 10 monitor children’s snacking habits
                                                                          • Figure 30: Agreement with statements related to snack foods and snacking habits, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                        • Irish consumers support snack tax
                                                                          • Figure 31: Consumer agreement with statements related to snacking, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                        • Consumers dubious about ‘healthy’ snacks
                                                                          • Figure 32: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘I am concerned a lot of so-called healthy snacks are actually high in sugar/salt/fat’, by gender, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                        • Snacks have a potential to position de-stressing functionality
                                                                          • Figure 33: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘I eat indulgent snacks when I want to cheer myself up’, by gender and age, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                          • Generational cohort definitions
                                                                            • Abbreviations

                                                                            Consumer Snacking Habits - Ireland - July 2019

                                                                            £1,095.00 (Excl.Tax)