Why the surge in snacking? Here are FoodThink’s top five reasons why America has become a snacking nation.
Part of a Healthy Diet
Snacking used to be synonymous with unhealthy. “Don’t spoil your dinner,” was once a common phrase among moms and grandmas. Today’s consumer believes eating smaller meals or snacks throughout the day can be just as healthy as eating three bigger meals. In fact, 3 in 4 say snacking can be part of a healthy diet.
Need for Bite-sized Costs
Many people eat snacks or mini meals now just for the cost savings. Heavy snackers are 27% more likely to say cost is important when they’re making choices about what to eat. At a lower price point, it’s more attractive financially to eat a quick snack than a more expensive full-priced meal.
Food Is Everywhere
It used to be that if you were hungry, you’d either go to a sit-down restaurant or eat something at home. Now, food marketers have seen the value in providing options to consumers, and these options have popped up everywhere, contributing to the death of the “three square meals a day” idea.
Some consumers may be reporting an increase in frequency of snacking simply because their definition of a “snack” has broadened. Almost half (44%) of people say their definition of a snack has evolved. And while past generations equated snacks to nothing more than junk food, today’s consumers have a broader definition. Food is getting a makeover and we’re eagerly watching where it’s going.
Desire for Variety and Fun
Consumers seek pleasure through food, and snacking allows them to have fun and try lots of different things. Rather than indulging in a big meal, snacking can allow consumers to sample a range of foods at different times, including during the workday. And with smaller portion sizes, snacks let consumers try a multitude of items with less concern for overindulging on calories.
In addition to these five reasons snacking is on the rise, FoodThink research found five snacker segments. Each segment has a unique take on why and when they snack, revealing that unique snacking solutions are necessary for each group. Download our latest white paper, Snacker Nation, for more information on the rise of snacking culture in America.