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Consumer Trends

Who's the off-peak customer?

Photograph: Shutterstock

Consumers with a penchant for eating outside traditional meal periods can be as varied as the restaurants they hit for a snack or late-night bite. But research and the anecdotal input of restaurateurs suggest the boom is one more disruption attributable to millennials and their younger siblings, Gen Zers.

“We see guests across all ages during late-night hours at Denny’s, but younger generations have traditionally been more prevalent than other demographics during that time,” says John Dillon, CMO of the family chain. “Our Denny’s on Demand [delivery] business also skews younger, including at the late night daypart.”

time of day for snacks

Source: Technomic Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report

Throughout the day, about two of every five people ages 18 to 24 are snacking more often, according to Technomic.

snack eating behaviors

Source: Technomic Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report

Chances are they’re millennials pressed for time, according to Technomic data. The researcher found that 41% of consumers are snacking so they can skip at least one meal per day, largely because they’re in too much of a hurry for a full-blown repast. Lunch is the meal most likely to be replaced with a snack, though breakfast is losing ground to a quick on-the-go bite at a head-turning clip, according to Technomic’s research.

Snackers tend to be avid indulgers, averaging 2.8 pick-me-ups per day.

what's driving snack purchases

Source: Technomic Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report

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