Study: Snacking gains ground with consumers

Technomic study shows 48% of consumers snack at least twice a day.

The snacking trend continues to grow in popularity, with 48% of consumers reporting that they snack at least twice a day, compared to 25% in 2012, according to a new Technomic study.

The study, called the Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report, found that restaurants are responding to this snacking trend by claiming 22% of consumers’ snacking occasions, up from 17% in 2010.

"Recent consumer research indicates that snacking is becoming a larger part of consumers' daily lives," Darren Tristano, executive vice president for Technomic, said in a press release. "Pressure from the nutritional disclosure legislation has prompted the foodservice industry to reduce calorie counts in meals. As a result, Americans are now more inclined to 'graze' throughout the day, seeking snacks that provide fuel between traditional meal parts."

Other findings from the report include:

  • Restaurant chains are using late-night hours to promote value-oriented snack items and bar plates to cater to younger customers.
  • Thirty-seven percent of consumers have broadened their definition of snacks to include a wider variety of food and beverages.
  • Mini sandwiches, sliders or wraps have transitioned from snacks to gourmet versions of popular full-sized offerings.
  • Snacking is usually an impulse purchase. Sixty-two percent reported that most of the snacks they purchased were impulse purchases.
  • Healthy snacks are vital as well. More than 33% of consumers expect to eat more healthful snacks in the coming year.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
eggs

Loyola University Maryland took a new approach to all-day breakfast with an egg-focused concept.

Breakfast options were top of mind for students when asked what they would like to see on the menu at the university’s revamped Boulder Garden Cafe. Instead of creating an all-day breakfast station, however, the Baltimore-based dining team went beyond traditional options and created a concept that services all mealparts with eggs.

“It can be somewhat mundane,” says Executive Chef Don Crowther on why the team strayed away from the trendy all-day breakfast. At the eatery’s Sunny...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Kansas has added a retail pass that allows students to purchase one to-go combo meal per day at cafes and markets on campus, the University Daily Kansan reports.

The pass is available on two different meal plans and is geared toward on-the-go students who don’t have the time to sit down and eat at a residence hall.

“It has increased the participation rate,” Jamie Reed, a service assistant for the school’s dining services, told the University Daily Kansan.

Over 1,800 students have used the pass since its debut at the beginning of the semester....

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Minnesota dining team has created a vegan student group in an effort to improve the school’s vegan offerings, Minnesota Daily reports.

The group was created by the school’s foodservice vendor, Aramark, and its campus sustainability coordinator, who is vegan, after receiving numerous complaints from students about the lack of vegan options on campus.

The group will this week host its first meeting, during which members will be able to share feedback and provide solutions to help enhance the school’s vegan offerings. Members will also keep a photo journal...

Industry News & Opinion

Panera Bread Co. announced today that it intends to buy the Au Bon Pain brand as a way of opening more bakery-cafes in colleges, healthcare facilities, office buildings, travel centers and malls.

Au Bon Pain, which was Panera’s sole business under an earlier incarnation of the company, consists of 304 bakery-cafes. Several units are located in noncommercial venues.

Panera owns or holds the franchise rights to about 2,050 restaurants, few of which are located outside of strip malls.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Immediately after the deal was...

FSD Resources