The Snacking Boom

The Lempert Report
July 28, 2015

Why do American consumers consider snacking their new favorite pastime and what snacks are favorites?

According to a recent report from Mintel, called "Snacking Motivations & Attitudes: US 2015",  94% of Americans snack at least once a day. In addition, 50% of adults snack two to three times per day with 70 percent agreeing that anything can be considered a snack these days. Clearly snacking has grown into an American habit as only a year ago just 64 percent of consumers said they often snack between meals, according to Mintel. 

So what kind of items are we snacking on? According to the report, Americans claim a preference for healthier snacking with 33 percent saying they are snacking on healthier foods this year compared to last year, with emphasis on simple ingredients and low calorie products. As for why people are snacking? According to the report, 62% most often snack to satisfy a craving.  

Maybe this is no surprise but, Millennials (consumers age 21-38) are significantly more likely to snack compared to older consumers with 24 percent of Millennials most likely to snack frequently, four or more times per day, and 23 percent snacking more this year compared to last year. And like others, Millennials are drawn to organic snacks and products with added nutrition, including protein and vitamins and of course, affordability is very important to this group. 

For both retailers and brands this information provides useful insight. These results create an opportunity for health-focused or organic brands to appeal to shoppers with low-cost snacking options.  And for retailers, knowing that health is so important providing snack suggestions and displays with low cost ideas, perhaps combining fruits and vegetables with products like low fat cheese, can not only help consumers shop healthy but appeal to the snacking trend.