THG Future of Snacking 2024 Cover

After spending the last two months analyzing consumer snacking habits, needs and preferences, we’re excited to announce that Future of Snacking 2024: Balancing Intent with Indulgence is now live. This new report is packed with insights that will help drive your strategy forward, and we’re eager to share some key findings.

Many of our clients are seeking a better understanding of consumers’ snacking considerations, which have grown increasingly complex. “Intent” is in the title of the study for a reason: snacking today goes far beyond “filler” between meals or mindless munching (although that still occurs regularly). Consumers have competing needs when selecting snacks, frequently balancing priorities like taste vs. nutrition, fun vs. function, and convenience vs. price.

Some of these are baseline considerations for any snack:  

  • Taste may be self-explanatory as a top snacking criterion, but its importance cannot be overstated — especially as importance grows around other criteria like protein (+9pts vs. 2020) and low/no sugar (+8pts vs. 2020). Texture is also closely related to taste as it can impact how other senses are amplified.
  • Convenience is a core purchasing criterion that manifests in multiple ways, from preparation to serving size and portability. 91% of consumers look for something quick and convenient when they need a snack, and 62% will put in little to no effort when preparing a snack.

Other factors closer to the specific snack chosen can vary significantly across products and brands.

  • Quality spans a wide range of attributes, but freshness and minimal processing are increasingly part of that definition. 62% say they have “premium-quality snacks” at least once a week, and 40% say they have “organic snacks” at least once a week (which is even higher among parents and younger consumers).
  • Health and wellness factors are increasingly important to consumers. They have a complicated relationship with classic snack flavor agents: sugar and salt. While many individuals crave snacks that are indulgent and flavorful, they also want to make healthier choices. 59% of all consumers pay attention to the amount of sugar in their snacks, and 42% of Gen Z say adding protein will improve their snacking.

Price, value, sustainability, packaging and brand are yet other factors in consumers’ snacking consideration set. So how do all of these converge when a consumer is deciding what to snack on?

Understanding the complex trade-offs consumers make is essential when developing and marketing snacking innovations. And to do that, you need the full picture. Purchase your copy of Future of Snacking 2024: Balancing Intent with Indulgence today to secure preferred pricing (valid through April 15, 2024)

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