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US Snacking Motivations and Attitudes Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Snacking Motivations and Attitudes market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Definition

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

This report builds on the analysis presented in Snacking Motivations and Attitudes – US, April 2015.

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

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Beth Bloom, 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.

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
Associate Director - Food & Drink

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Fresh fruit remains the most popular healthy snack option
            • Figure 1: Healthy snack consumption, May 2018
          • Relatively few better-for-you snacks eaten on a daily basis
            • Figure 2: Healthy snack consumption frequency, by type of snack, May 2018
          • Consumer skepticism a substantial issue for healthy snack marketers
            • Figure 3: Attitudes toward healthy snacking, May 2018
          • The opportunities
            • Younger healthy snackers respond to wider array of motivations
              • Figure 4: Snack motivation by occasion – Net of all occasions, by age, May 2018
            • Opportunity to promote naturally healthy snacks to young adults
              • Figure 5: Healthy snack attributes, by age, May 2018
            • Snack-size portions and portability speak to expanded role of snacks
              • Figure 6: Healthy snacking concepts, May 2018
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Salty snack segments represent increasing competition for BFY snacks
                • Snacking continues to grow more prevalent
                • Market Perspective

                  • Salty snack segments represent increasing competition for BFY snacks
                    • Protein trend drives meat snacks
                      • Premium ready-to-eat brands drive popcorn growth
                        • Figure 7: Total US sales of popcorn and meat snacks, 2012-17
                    • Market Factors

                      • Snacking continues to grow more prevalent
                        • Figure 8: Snacking frequency, March 2017
                      • Rise in health issues puts spotlight on better-for-you snacks
                        • Figure 9: Growth in health issues in the US, 2013-15
                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                      • Healthy snack categories near or below all-snack purchase intent norm
                        • Sales of baked chips stagnate
                          • All-natural claim loses traction
                            • Functional snacking poised to gain
                            • What’s Working?

                              • Healthy snack categories mostly in line with “all-snack” purchase intent
                                • Figure 10: Better-for-you snack purchase intent, by snack segment, 2017-18
                              • Fruit snacks seen as tasty, fun, refreshing, but necessarily unique
                                • Vegetable snacks seen as healthy and natural but not so tasty
                                  • Fewer strong perceptions for other types of healthy snacks
                                    • Figure 11: Better-for-you snack attribute ratings, by snack segment, 2017-18
                                  • Potential for high purchase intent exists across healthy snack categories
                                    • Verbatims reveal category’s alternative status, a potential limit to growth
                                      • Fruit-based snacks
                                        • Bean-based snacks
                                          • Cassava and other base snacks
                                            • Rice snacks
                                              • Vegetable snacks
                                              • What’s Struggling?

                                                • Sales of baked chips stagnate
                                                  • All-natural claim loses traction
                                                    • Figure 12: Better-for-you snack product launches, by top health claims, 2013-18*
                                                • What’s Next?

                                                  • Functional snacking poised to gain
                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Fresh fruit remains the most popular healthy snack option
                                                      • Motivations shift from functional to more emotional during the day
                                                        • Freshness a key attribute for healthy snacks
                                                          • Snack-size portions and portability speak to expanded role of snacks
                                                            • Younger consumers’ healthy snacking habits in flux
                                                              • Consumer skepticism a substantial issue for healthy snack marketers
                                                              • Healthy Snack Consumption

                                                                • Fresh fruit remains the most popular healthy snack option
                                                                  • Figure 13: Healthy snack consumption, May 2018
                                                                • Young consumers a key target for packaged better-for-you snacks
                                                                  • Figure 14: Healthy snack consumption, by age, May 2018
                                                                • Opportunity to increase consumption frequency of better-for you snacks
                                                                  • Figure 15: Healthy snack consumption frequency, by type of snack, May 2018
                                                              • Correspondence Analysis: Snack Motivation by Occasion

                                                                • Methodology
                                                                  • Motivations shift from functional to more emotional during the day
                                                                    • Figure 16: Correspondence analysis – Snack motivation by occasion, May 2018
                                                                    • Figure 17: Snack motivation by occasion, May 2018
                                                                  • Younger healthy snackers respond to wider array of motivations
                                                                    • Figure 18: Snack motivation by occasion – Net of all occasions, by age, May 2018
                                                                • Healthy Snack Attributes

                                                                  • Freshness a key attribute for healthy snacks
                                                                    • Figure 19: Healthy snack attributes, May 2018
                                                                  • Older adults more likely to prioritize low/no claims
                                                                    • Figure 20: Healthy snack attributes, by age, May 2018
                                                                • Healthy Snacking Concepts

                                                                  • Fresh ingredients draw wide interest
                                                                    • Snack-size portions and portability speak to expanded role of snacks
                                                                      • Figure 21: Healthy snacking concepts, May 2018
                                                                    • Portability especially appealing to younger women
                                                                      • Figure 22: Healthy snacking concepts, by gender and age, May 2018
                                                                  • Healthy Snacking Behaviors

                                                                    • Consumers report purchasing more healthy snacks
                                                                      • Figure 23: Healthy snacking behaviors, May 2018
                                                                    • Younger consumers’ healthy snacking habits in flux
                                                                      • Figure 24: Healthy snacking behaviors, by age, May 2018
                                                                  • Attitudes toward Healthy Snacking

                                                                    • Consumers interested in seeing more healthy snacks on store shelves
                                                                      • Consumer skepticism a substantial issue for healthy snack marketers
                                                                        • Figure 25: Attitudes toward healthy snacking, May 2018
                                                                      • Younger adults interested in more healthy snacking options
                                                                        • Figure 26: Attitudes toward healthy snacking, by age, May 2018
                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                          • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                            • Abbreviations
                                                                              • Terms