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Although industry insight has long identified Millennials as the key target of the snack occasion, it's actually Boomers who most often indulge in between meals, so finds The NPD Group.
In fact, Boomers consumer ready-to-eat snack food 20 percent more often than Millennials do, despite the latter group having overtaken their older counterparts in population in 2015.
Based on NPD’s snacking research, annual eatings of ready-to-eat snacks per Boomer are about 1,200, or a total of 90.4 billion snack eatings, and there are about 1,000 snack eatings for each Millennial, or a total of 83.1 billion snack eatings.
In terms of the factors that influence these groups' snacking decisions, Millennials reach for what is often a grab-and-go snack because they’re hungry, while Boomers snack because they don’t want to prepare a big meal and eat alone more often than other age groups. Both groups choose snacks based on taste and craving.
Additionally, when it comes to their snacks of choice, fruit, chocolate candy/candy bars and potato chips rank as the top three for both age groups. Though Boomers and Millennials take different paths after the top three with Boomers reaching for nuts and yogurt and Millennials for tortilla chips and cookies.
“Our snacking research shows us that all snackers are not alike. Motivations, snack food choice, and when and where to snack differs among age groups,” says NPD's Darren Seifer. “Everyone gets it that as a nation we like snack foods but the key for food manufacturers is to find the nuances in snacking behaviors in order to differentiate a brand or find a white space opportunity.”