• NPD: Consumers with healthier eating habits snack more

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the more consumers snack, the healthier their eating behaviors, according to The NPD Group, a market research company. NPD's recently released snacking market research report finds that more consumers view snacking as one way to improve healthy eating habits. Consumers following the healthiest diets snack twice as often as those with less healthy diets.

Consumers with the healthiest diets consume 36 percent more snack meals a year than the average consumer, according to Snacking in America, which examines long-term attitudes and behaviors about snacking as well as snack selection drivers. This compares to those with moderately healthy diets, who eat one percent fewer snack meals than the average consumer, and consumers with the least healthy diets, who consume 29 percent fewer snack meals than the average consumer. The report, which identifies and examines the consumers who drive current and future snack consumption, also finds those following a "most healthy" diet eat a wider variety of healthy snacks such as fruit, yogurt, and bars.

"We are no longer as averse to snacking as we used to be — instead, snacking may be viewed as one way to improve healthy eating habits," said Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. "This way of thinking about snacking provides an opportunity for manufacturers to make health and wellness innovation part of their product development and marketing strategy."

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