Americans no longer wait for one of the three main meals to eat; they love to snack—and they do so throughout the day. In fact, when asked as part of a study conducted by the Culinary Visions Panel in October, 2013, when they snack, none of the respondents said they simply don’t partake. Instead, the survey results show that snacking has turned into an all-day dining trend.
- Snacking is on the rise. While about 50% of consumers snack about the same amount as they did last year, another 30% snack more often than they did a year ago.
- Late afternoon is the prime time for snacking, as more than half of the respondents (55.%) report that they are most likely to snack during this time of day. Early afternoon, midmorning and after dinner are also popular snacking times, while morning and before dinner seem to be the least prevalent snacking occasions.
- Consumers gravitate towards healthier snacks in the morning; yogurt is the most popular morning snack (67%), followed by fruit (50%) and granola/energy bars (41%).
- Early afternoon snack choices represent a mixed bag of options. While the majority (55%) snack on fruit, another 45% turn to chips, salty snacks or bakery items such as cookies, sweet rolls or muffins.
- Late night is the time that consumers indulge. Some 58% of consumers turn to chips and salty snacks in the evening, while another 49% turn to candy and 46% grab bakery items.
- Value drives snacking occasions. More than two-thirds of consumers (about 70%) expressed that a good value is very important, and another 25% rate value as somewhat important. On the same token, low price also ranks high on the list of important factors. The next major driver—convenience, both in location and to-go ability.