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.