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    Snack Attack

    Occasion-based snacking on the rise as shoppers seek convenient, better-for-you products

    Remember when a snack was considered a decadent indulgence?

    Not anymore. Snacking has become a daypart in itself, with consumers seeking snack-style sustenance almost 24/7.

    “Snacking is fundamentally changing the way consumers eat food in America, with 81 percent of consumers saying they snack at least once a day, and 23 percent saying they intend to snack more in the future,” says "Snacker Nation," a new white paper released in June 2015 by Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS) FoodThink, an advertising and marketing agency that focuses on food value chain marketing.

    Those findings mirror data from other food industry sources.

    In a 2014 update to its "Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report," Chicago-based research firm Technomic Inc. reveals that consumers eat snacks between meals and as meal replacements. “Nearly half of consumers—49 percent—eat snacks between meals, and 45 percent replace one or two daily meals with a snack,” Technomic reports.

    Similarly, "Modern Eating: Cultural Roots, Daily Behaviors," a 2014 study from the Bellevue, Wash.-based The Hartman Group, shows that 50 percent of today's meal occasions “…aren’t traditional meals but are snacks or mini-meals.”

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