"Nearly all Americans snack, especially younger adult consumers who also are more likely to have increased their snacking frequency over the last year. Snacking may also be replacing standard daily meals, and this behavior is likely to continue. Americans claim a preference toward healthier snacks, specifically those with simple ingredients and low calorie counts; however, they most often snack to satisfy a craving, highlighting the important role taste and flavor play on their snacking behavior. There still is opportunity for manufacturers to offer more conveniently packaged and healthy snacks, which consumers feel are missing from the market."
- Amanda Topper, Food Analyst
This report looks at the following areas:
- Nearly all US adults are snacking
- Interest in health impacts snacking behavior
- Emotional, functional reasons key snacking drivers
- Focus on cravings, specific occasions to increase snacking among older generations
- A need for more convenient, healthier snacks
- Appeal to emotional, functional reasons Millennials snack
Mintel provides a comprehensive analysis of the following factors that have the greatest potential to impact the snacking category:
- How snacking is defined, especially as its definition has broadened and new food and beverage categories continue to enter this space.
- Snacking frequency and the main drivers or motivations for snacking occasions, including functional and emotional reasons.
- The most important features consumers consider when buying snacks related to health, brand, packaging, and flavor.
- How consumers’ snacking choices differ by occasion, and how snacks fit into consumers’ lifestyles.
- The snacking retail landscape including other retail channel entry (eg snacking subscription services, non-food retailers).
- How health, convenience, and eating habits impact consumer attitudes toward snacking.
Nearly all Americans snack, and this eating behavior shows no sign of slowing. An increase in snacking will continue to impact retailing, packaging, and the production of foods and beverages, at both retail and foodservice. This may come in the form of expanded convenience store retailing, single-serve and resealable packaging, and smaller, portable snack options, for example.
Focusing on the key motivations each generation has for snacking can create opportunities for manufacturers to appeal to their specific needs; whether emotional or practical.
Health will continue to play a role in the types of snacks consumers are interested in. However, it’s important to recognize the impact of flavor and satisfying a craving on snacking occasions, which occasionally trump health.