How will we snack in 2024 and beyond?
In the world of American snacking, the ways we eat outside of mealtimes reflect our unique and dynamic lifestyles. The transformative events of 2020 had a profound impact on snacking habits, and we think it’s high time to reassess both consumer behaviors and the resulting strategies within the food and beverage industry. Our upcoming Q2 syndicated study, Future of Snacking 2024, will offer a timely exploration into the shifting culture and considerations of snacking, providing valuable insights for food retailers, manufacturers, and brands.
The culture of snacking is in flux.
Despite the frequency of snacking occasions remaining stable over the past decade, the landscape has evolved. The average number of foods and beverages consumed per snacking occasion increased significantly from 2019 to 2020, emphasizing the growing role snacks play in our food lives. Younger consumers in particular are elevating snack time, with snacks constituting 53% of Gen Z’s total eating occasions. Younger consumers also place less emphasis on the traditional ideal of three square meals a day, pointing to a more flexible and personalized approach.
By doing a deep dive on how consumers define and approach snacking today, we can help your team confidently answer questions like:
- How does snacking differ across your demographic targets?
- How do consumers discover new snacks or ways of snacking, and what implications does this hold for your brand?
Consumers are seeking more out of their snacking.
Consumer snacking priorities are evolving, demanding a closer look at your product offerings, messaging, and target audiences. For example, 40% of snacking occasions involved a need for distraction in 2020. We can all relate to the sinking feeling of realizing your little indulgence turned into eating an entire bag of chips without even realizing it. Snacking drivers are not mutually exclusive, and brands need to know how to cater to these competing and overlapping consumer needs.
With the latest research, you’ll be able to better understand the needs consumers bring to their vast non-meal occasions to answer questions like:
- How do your products/brands align with those needs?
- What challenges and unmet needs are consumers looking for you to solve?
Taste and flavor are more important than ever.
Taste and flavor have long been primary deciding factors in the snacking landscape, but new dimensions are emerging. The stress of the pandemic heightened the desire for nostalgic flavors as consumers sought comfort during uncertain times. Simultaneously, long-term trends also indicate a growing appetite for discovery and delight in snacks. Gen Z is showing us that cross-cultural flavors are going to be one of the biggest trends in 2024, and understanding when and how to blend flavors and formats for snacking innovations is critical for drawing in new consumers.
With data-backed implications and recommendations, your team will better understand:
- What better-for-you and indulgent snacking looks like today, and what future threats or opportunities they represent
- What cultural trends and consumer values (like quality, health, and sustainability) you can tap into to achieve and maintain relevancy
Future of Snacking 2024 will help you stay ahead of the snacking curve. Gain a deeper understanding of the complex snacking landscape, align your products with consumer needs, and tap into cultural trends for lasting relevancy. Connect with Melissa Abbott at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how this research can enhance your strategy.