Snacking accounts for about 11 billion restaurant visits a year, notes Bonnie Riggs, Restaurant Industry Analyst for The NPD Group in Chicago. Although growth in the category has been flat over the past six years, as Millennials have cut back on restaurant visits, snacking is still performing better than other eating occasions.
- 95% of snack-related visits are in the quickservice segment, with about 59% going to convenience stores
- 21% of snacking takes place in mid-morning, with 47% happening in the afternoon and 32% in the evening
- 36% of snacks are food only, while 20% focus on beverages like smoothies and coffee drinks
- Millennials (18-34-year-olds) account for one in three snack purchases
- Low-income consumers are more frequent snackers
Since consumers are snacking more often in mid-afternoon, QSRs should be thinking about offering more snack options during this time period, says Riggs. And when the unemployment situation improves, the snack market should pick up, she adds.