US Snacking Trends
Some current snacking trends in the United States include indulgent but healthy snacking, increased preference for flavors with global influence, and higher snacking frequency.
Indulgent but Healthy Snacking
- Consumers are showing preference for indulgent, but also healthy snack options.
- Consumers may opt to snack on vegetables or fruit, but allow themselves a chips snack for the next one. They also have a preference for healthy indulgence in the same snack, with snackers choosing wholegrain or vegan snacks to satisfy snack urges while supporting good intentions.
- Consumers are also drawn to snacks that offer new sources of protein on the go.
- This trend is driven by the consumers' coming to terms with the reality of their own mortality. Projections indicate that 'by 2020, preventable diseases such as diabetes, stroke and heart attacks will contribute to 73% of all deaths.'
- Consumers are, as a result, driven to opt for healthier lifestyles and options that provide solutions to these rising concerns.
Flavors with Global Influence
- Studies indicate that international flavors top US snack preferences.
- 26% of consumers surveyed prefer flavors from Latin America, 14% prefer mainland Asia flavors, while comfort foods that mix regional flavors are the most popular options.
- The snacks that consumers lean towards as new sources of protein are both sweet and savory snack foods such as yogurts enriched with protein.
- This trend is driven by consumers' increased openness to the experience of unusual flavors and willingness to eat foods that are bold, spicy, and culturally diverse. In a survey, 44% of consumers indicated that their "flavor preferences were driven by travels."
- The proliferation of social media has also "brought the desire for global flavors into the mainstream."
Higher Snacking Frequency
- Sit-down meals are increasingly being replaced with convenient, quick bites. More consumers are snacking more, with some snacking as frequently as 4-6 times a day.
- 94% of consumers in the United States snack 1-2 times a day.
- 25% of millennials, 10% of Generation X consumers and 9% of Baby Boomers are most likely to snack four or more times a day.
- Research shows that "every day snacking appeals to nearly 47% of consumers" in the US.
- The higher snacking frequency can be attributed to the fact that snack foods "encompass many overarching trends like convenience, protein, better-for-you options and healthful eating."
In order to identify and describe current snacking trends in the United States, we read extensively through food industry expert platforms, market research reports, consumer behavior survey reports, and food magazines. The current trends were identified as such by virtue of being listed in at least two or more of the selected sources.