Understanding 'snackified' eating

by Monica Watrous
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 Snack
Fifty-six percent of all snacking occasions reflect some need for nourishment. 
 

As the line between meal and snack becomes increasingly blurry, the three main drivers for snacking occasions provide “coherence to the messiness of snacking” and may help manufacturers, marketers and retailers understand consumer challenges and identify opportunities, Barnett said.

Fifty-six percent of all snacking occasions reflect some need for nourishment, or snacking that addresses hunger and provides sustained energy. Key attributes of these snacks include whole grains, fiber, protein, fat, probiotics and minimal sugar, Barnett said. Examples include Greek yogurt, fruits and vegetables, nut and granola bars, and ready-to-drink tea, water and smoothies.

Thirty-four percent of snacking occasions reflect some need for optimization, or snacking that provides quick energy, recovery, mental focus or stress management, such as products with protein, caffeine, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and botanicals. Examples include energy and sports drinks, energy and granola bars, meat snacks, kombucha and coffee.

 Snack
Thirty-four percent of snacking occasions reflect some need for optimization.
 

Forty-nine percent of snacking occasions reflect some need for pleasure, or snacking that fulfills a desire for craving, comfort, indulgence and reward. Examples include chocolate and candy, baked goods, ice cream, chips and popcorn and carbonated soft drinks.

Snacking drivers change across the day. Snacking for nourishment is more prominent in the morning, when consumers are more likely to choose fruit or nutrition bars to satisfy hunger. In the evenings, consumers tend to snack for pleasure, indulging in after-dinner candy, ice cream or salty snacks.

“Snacking has become a highly customized activity for consumers,” Barnett said.

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