The simple fact is snacks are not all ‘bad-for-you’ in fact according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® given that 50% of US adults over the age of 18 are single it’s has become clear that that sector of society is a key driver evolving ‘better-for-you’ small meals, small plates, and snacks.
Once again trend of eating snack foods at main meals is being driven primarily by Generation Z and millennials but don’t discount the huge populations that are not GenZ or Millennials. It is true that most snack foods are eaten between traditional meal periods, snack foods eaten at main meals now represent 24 percent of all snack food eating, up 21 percent from five years ago, according to The NPD Group's latest report, Generation Study: The Evolution of Eating.
The trend of eating snack foods at main meals is being driven primarily by Generation Z and millennials. These two age demographics are more comfortable eating alone compared to previous generations, and snack foods offer a low-cost, smaller-portioned alternative that fits that lifestyle, NPD cited. Gen Z and millennials are also shifting toward fresh foods and foods with a healthy halo, which is why fresh fruit and refrigerated yogurt are among the top snack foods included in main meals.
David Portalatin, vice president, industry analysis, The NPD Group stated "Although consumers are not adding new snacking occasions to the day, there is a shift in what's eaten at main meals and how snacking is viewed," … "Consumers today expect snacks to work for them; the snack is no longer just a reward. Snack foods that offer consumers flexibility on price, portion size, and portability allow them to compose an eating occasion that fits their specific needs at the time, whether they look at it as a snack, meal replacement or part of a main meal occasion."
The NPD report found that “12 billion snack visits made to restaurants and other foodservice outlets, snacking replaces an away-from-home meal most often at lunch. Nearly half of foodservice visits occur during the lunch time frame (48 percent), while 23 percent occur in the morning and 30 percent occur in the evening.
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