CHICAGO — Americans will be eating more snacks in the future, according to a new study titled "A Look into The Future of Eating" from the NPD Group, a marketing research company. In-home snacking — morning, noon and night, but especially morning — will outpace population growth over the next decade, the study claims.

By 2018, the total number of in-home snack occasions are projected to increase 19% over 2008 annual eatings. Morning snacking is forecasted to increase by 23%, and in-home afternoon snacking is expected to increase by 20% over eating occasions in 2008. Evening snacking is forecasted to increase by 15% over the next 10 years compared to 2008.

"The strong projected growth in snacking is both a reflection of the growth in new types of snack foods as well as an evolution of how consumers eat," said Ann Hanson, the study’s author and NPD’s director of product development. "Many consumers are eating ‘on the go’ and there are more and more foods available to meet this need."

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Convenience, which could mean reducing or eliminating the amount of food preparation, eating more restaurant meals or versatile and ready-to-eat foods, will be a key motivator in what, how and where Americans eat over the next decade.
  • The forms of foods expected to under-pace population growth are frozen breakfast foods, canned ingredients and completely homemade dinner foods.
  • While the overall incidence of individuals being overweight or obese is expected to be flat over the next 10 years, the likelihood of being overweight/obese increases with age among adults.