What I find the most compelling about SNAC’s latest report was not about the move towards health, or better ingredients or non GMO – but rather their understanding of how the purchasing and consumption behaviors of consumers have changed.
“In the past, there were two ways consumers purchased and consumed snacks, ‘planned’ and ‘impulse.’ We have now identified two additional factors, ‘on-demand’ and ‘experiential,’ Sally Lyons Wyatt, EVP and practice leader of client insights of iRI said. “Producers must consider all four factors when innovating and marketing products.”
Getting snacks in the hands of consumers is vital. Producers must reach them in the places they frequent such as airports and gyms. “Snacks are even showing up in the back of Ubers. Using your smart phone, passengers can purchase snacks in the tray and fulfill their craving while they ride,” said Jared Koerten, industry manager, food and nutrition, Euromonitor International.
Pop-up dining experiences offer a culinary adventure, engaging the consumer and increasing brand awareness. Similarly, snack availability generates more snacking occasions, increasing opportunity for more experiential snacking, which excites consumers and drives consumption. Limited-time offers and specialty branding can effectively create this experience.
Shelf-stable products are evolving to be fresher, and distribution models are allowing them to get directly to the consumer faster. On-the-go consumers don’t want to prepare meals after work. Innovation with fresh, “real food” options like adult snack trays and combo packs can help producers compete.
Price, packaging and convenience all influence consumer choice. Price is the No. 1 factor guiding consumer shopping habits, according to IRI. Product labels and packaging ranked third.