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Better for You Snacking US market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Better For You Snacking market, its consumers and the major players who make up that market.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

  • What are the key challenges facing the industry?
  • Who is the consumer and what do they want?
  • Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Key points included

  • Fresh fruit remains the most popular healthy snack option
  • Relatively few better-for-you snacks eaten on a daily basis
  • Consumer skepticism a substantial issue for healthy snack marketers

What you need to know

The increasing prevalence of snacking creates an opportunity for healthier, more nutritious snacks. And with relatively low usage incidence of many newer types of better-for-you snacks, there’s plenty of room for further growth. For better-for-you snack makers, new use occasions and pairings and exciting new flavors represent paths to increased consumption.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by John Owen, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The increasing prevalence of snacking creates an opportunity for healthier, more nutritious snacks. And with relatively low usage incidence of many newer types of better-for-you snacks, there’s plenty of room for further growth. For better-for-you snack makers, new use occasions and pairings and exciting new flavors represent paths to increased consumption.John Owen
Senior Food & Drink Analyst

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What's included

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • The issues
            • MTO remains a low proportion of consumers’ overall snacks
              • Figure 1: Total snacking frequency, January 2015 and November 2018
            • Consumers visiting retailers more often for MTO snacks
              • Figure 2: Foodservice snacking purchase location in last three months, March 2017 and November 2018
            • The opportunities
              • MTO snack purchasing is up
                • Figure 3: MTO snack consumption over the past three months, March 2017 and November 2018
              • iGens love MTO snacks
                • Figure 4: Foodservice snacking purchase location in last three months, by generation, November 2018
              • Filling and healthy MTO snacks appeal to consumers
                • Figure 5: Desired snacking attributes by daypart – Net: Any occasion, November 2018
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Snacking frequency continues to rise
                  • Consumers have more options for MTO snacks than ever before
                    • Generational shares are shifting
                    • Market Perspective

                      • Convenience stores focus on freshness
                        • Figure 6: Total US sales and fan chart of c-store foodservice sales, at current prices, 2012-22
                      • Supermarkets invest in foodservice snack options
                      • Market Factors

                        • Americans are snacking more often
                          • Figure 7: Total snacking frequency, January 2015 and November 2018
                        • iGens become increasingly important snackers for operators
                          • Figure 8: Population, by generation, 2013-23
                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                        • QSRs and casual dining restaurants roll out snack menus
                          • Snack shops adapt to the decline of the mall food court
                            • Fast casuals launch happy hour menus
                            • What’s Working?

                              • QSR chains add snack options to menus
                                • Casual dining restaurant menus innovate with small plates
                                • What’s Struggling?

                                  • Mall closings put snack shops at risk
                                  • What’s Next?

                                    • Fast casuals become happy hour destinations
                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                      • MTO snacking is increasing, but remains a low proportion of consumers’ overall snack consumption
                                        • Consumers visit a variety of locations for MTO snacks
                                          • Parents are important MTO snack customers
                                            • Healthy means different things across generations of snackers
                                            • Foodservice Snacking Purchase Locations

                                              • Fast food restaurants remain most visited for snacking occasions
                                                  • Figure 9: Foodservice snacking purchase location in last three months, March 2017 and November 2018
                                                • iGens love MTO snacks
                                                  • Figure 10: Foodservice snacking purchase location in last three months, by generation – Nets, November 2018
                                                  • Figure 11: LSR foodservice snacking purchase location in last three months, by generation, November 2018
                                                  • Figure 12: Retail foodservice snacking purchase location in last three months, by generation, November 2018
                                                • Parents are top foodservice snackers
                                                  • Figure 13: Foodservice snacking purchase location in last three months, by parental status, November 2018
                                                  • Figure 14: Famous Dave's of America’s email “Sunday Funday with All Day Happy Hour!”
                                                  • Figure 15: LSR foodservice snacking purchase location in last three months, by parental status, November 2018
                                              • Foodservice Snacking Frequency

                                                • MTO remains a low proportion of consumers’ overall snacks
                                                  • Figure 16: Foodservice snacking frequency, November 2018
                                                • Dads are frequent purchasers of MTO snacks
                                                  • Figure 17: Foodservice snacking frequency, by parental status, November 2018
                                              • Snacking Attributes by Occasion

                                                • Foodservice snackers are doing so more often throughout the day
                                                  • Figure 18: Snacking occasions – Net: Any snacking and foodservice snacking, November 2018
                                                  • Figure 19: Desired snacking attributes by daypart – Net: Any occasion, November 2018
                                                  • Figure 20: Restaurant behaviors, by generation, October 2018
                                                • Foodservice snackers seek different attributes throughout the day
                                                  • Figure 21: Correspondence analysis – Snack attributes by occasion, November 2018
                                                  • Figure 22: Snack attributes, by occasion, November 2018
                                                  • Figure 23: Starbucks August 2018 Happy Hour promotion
                                                  • Figure 24: Domino's: Your Late Night Snack Buddy
                                              • Foodservice Snack Motivators

                                                • Foodservice snackers see snacking as a way to relax
                                                  • Figure 25: Snack motivators – Net: Any snacking and any foodservice snacking, November 2018
                                                  • Figure 26: Chick-fil-A email, “Enjoy a Midweek Snack TODAY Only!”
                                                • Frequent snackers are more motivated by health
                                                  • Figure 27: Snack motivators, by net – Frequent and infrequent foodservice snackers, November 2018
                                                  • Figure 28: Sweetgreen email, “Snack Game Strong”
                                              • Foodservice Snacking Behaviors

                                                • Four in 10 consumers typically purchase a beverage with their snack
                                                  • Figure 29: Foodservice snacking behavior statement agreement, November 2018
                                                • Half of frequent snackers do so in transit
                                                  • Figure 30: Foodservice snacking behavior statement agreement, by frequent versus infrequent snackers, November 2018
                                                • Household income plays a key role in snack habits
                                                  • Figure 31: Foodservice snacking behavior statement agreement, by household income, November 2018
                                              • Healthy Snack Attributes

                                                • High-protein snacks are of interest to health-conscious consumers
                                                  • Figure 32: Healthy snack attributes – Net: Any rank, November 2018
                                                • Baby Boomers want high-fiber and low-fat snacks
                                                  • Figure 33: Healthy snack attributes – Net: Any rank, by generation, November 2018
                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                • Data sources
                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                    • Consumer qualitative research
                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                        • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                          • Correspondence Analysis Methodology