While snacking has always been popular, the past few years have seen a shift in consumer attitudes towards what snacks are and when they’re best enjoyed. According to Technomic’s 2022 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report, a quarter of consumers say their definition of what a snack is has broadened to include more types of foods, while an additional 10% say their definition has broadened to include more items offered at restaurants or foodservice locations. What’s more, 20% of consumers say they are snacking more frequently now than they did before the pandemic.
For operators, the opportunity to redesign their menus to include more snack options is big—particularly at fast-food restaurants, casual dining restaurants and noncommercial foodservice locations. But knowing what customers are looking for is key, and finding that out means learning more about where consumers snack, what types of foods they want and when they’re buying them.
What do consumers want?
Technomic’s Snacking Occasion report finds that when eating snacks away from home, more than half of consumers (55%) consume snacks while en route from one place to another; 37% at work, 35% at someone else’s home, 31% at an entertainment venue and 22% at a restaurant. In other words, most of the time, snacks are consumed while traveling somewhere—so it’ll be crucial for operators to offer portable snacks that aren’t messy when eaten en route.
As for what types of foods consumers enjoy, many consumers (33%) snack to give themselves a treat while 22% snack because they just enjoy snacking, so foods that are broadly popular and could be considered comfort foods or “fun” foods will also do well on menus—options such as soft pretzels and filled soft pretzels, churros, funnel cakes, slushes, Italian ices and other frozen treats, cookies and more.
Flavor/taste are the top attribute consumers look for when choosing a snack, followed by freshness, quality, portability and price—snack options from J&J Snack Foods meet all of these needs, including fresh-baked taste, ease of taking on-the-go, great taste and a good value.
Offering a variety of sweet and salty treats
Technomic’s Snacking Occasion report finds that many people replace breakfast or lunch with a snack—45% replace breakfast with a snack, while 51% replace lunch with a snack. On top of that, 35% of consumers say they eat three meals a day with a few snacks between meals. With that in mind, it’s in operators’ best interest to offer a variety of sweet and savory snack options to meet the needs of all types of snackers. Breakfast snackers may prefer something sweet, for instance, while those choosing a snack later in the day in place of lunch might chose something savory. As for diners who want a snack mid-afternoon or in the evening, it’s important to have a few choices so everyone can find something they like.
J&J Snack Foods offers an array of snack options consumers will love, including SuperPretzel Soft Pretzels, Pretzel Fillers, Pepe’s® Churros, filled California Churros and Oreo® Churros, funnel cakes from The Funnel Cake and many more. For a robust snack offering this fall and beyond, www.jjsnack.com to learn more.
This post is sponsored by J&J Snack Foods