Americans are snacking more today than they did a decade ago as consumers increasingly view snacking as a healthier — and quicker — alternative to eating a big meal, according to survey data from a new Packaged Facts report titled “What America Eats: Paradigms Shaping Food Choices.”
With convenience and health driving change, Packaged Facts, a market research firm, reported that two-thirds of adults in America say they often snack between meals, up from 62 percent in 2004. Moreover, 39 percent of Americans say they eat several small meals throughout the day in place of full meals, a increase of 6 percent from 10 years prior.
This trend has led to a shift in how suppliers launch new products, many of which have an on-the-go component. Retailers are capitalizing on consumers’ changing eating habits by positioning these snacks as meal replacements.
By focusing on healthier formulations and convenient packaging, new snack product launches have found rapid acceptance in the marketplace. Here are are few ways that food and beverage suppliers have made an impact:
- Single-serve tubs, cups, or bags to help consumers control both portion sizes and calorie counts
- Mini-sized soda cans, like Coke’s 7.5 oz. sizes, for quick beverage (and lower-calorie) consumption
- Snack mixes targeting meal replacement (e.g., Emerald Nut’s Breakfast On the Go)
- Health-first snacks to make consumers feel good about their choices