When looking at snack-oriented food groups, consumers usually start the day with healthy, better-for-you snacks. They are usually consumed throughout the day depending on location. Around mid-day, savory snacking starts to pick up and in the evening, consumers switch to sweet snacks, according to the study.
The report shows that one-third of the snack or appetizer items that consumers eat around the lunch or dinner hour are from the savory category. More than one-third of post-dinner snacks are from the sweet category. And, more than 40 percent of the snacks that are carried with consumers – from home to work, school or in the car – are better-for-you snacks.
The seasons also play a role in snack food preferences. Sweet snacking increases in November (right after Halloween) and better-for-you snacking decreases in November and December, during the holiday season. According to the report, savory snacking is at its highest during December and January.
“All snack foods are not treated equally by consumers depending on the time of day,” says Darren Seifer, NPD’s food and beverage industry analyst. “Marketers of snack food products need to communicate with consumers based on day part, while better-for-you snack marketers need to be more focused on location, as in-home versus away from home.”