More than half of consumers — 51 percent — say they eat snacks at least twice a day, an increase from the 48 percent who said the same in 2012. According to new research from Technomic, about one-third of consumers (31 percent) said they're snacking more frequently than they were just two years ago.
According to a news release, not only are consumers snacking more often, they're broadening their definition of a "snack" to include more food options and beverages. Technomic's research shows that convenience stores and other retailers are adding snacking occasions to reflect a higher demand, sparking more competition with restaurants.
"Snacking occasions represent a growth channel for restaurant operators," said Darren Tristano, EVP of Technomic. "The retail market is aggressively promoting snacks, but there's plenty of room for restaurants to expand their snack programs and grab share. By providing more innovative, healthy and easily portable snacks, and boosting variety, restaurants can position themselves to increase incremental traffic and sales — particularly among a younger customer base."
Technomic's Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report includes highlights such as:
- Nearly half of consumers (49 percent) eat snacks between meals and 45 percent replace one or two daily meals with a snack.
- Forty-five percent of consumers who order snacks at restaurants order from the dollar or value menu.
- Fifty percent of consumers indicate that healthfulness is very important to them when choosing a snack.
- Portability is important, with 60 percent of today's consumers, compared to 55 percent in 2012, citing portability as an important or extremely important factor when choosing a snack.