Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dinner Time Lunch Time Are Fast Becoming Mini Meal Time

Consumers are not eating less, not eating out less, nor are they eating fewer meals according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™.  What they are doing is eating smaller meals more often.  What were once called a quick meal on the run, fast lunch, a desk lunch, or a quick dinner, has a new popular vernacular it’s called a snack. Simply put consumers are eating more meals but smaller ones. 

New research from CivicScience  found that “51% of consumers snack more than once on an average day.”  What is important is just who the study found eating these mini meals.  Who is the Multi-Snacker?
Here is what they found:
  • Gender: Skews slightly towards women (55% vs. 45% men).
  • Age: Those 18 and under are 26% more likely than average to be multi-snackers. Among adults, those aged 18 to 24 and 35 to 44 are more likely to snack multiple times per day.
  • Snack Food Preference: Multi-snackers are somewhat more likely to prefer sweet snacks than do single snackers or non-snackers. In fact, the more often someone snacks, the higher overall their preference for sweet snacks.
  • Sedentary Lifestyles: 25% of multi-snackers say that TV is important or a passion, compared to 20% of single snackers and 15% of non-snackers who say this. Multi-snackers are somewhat more likely to watch more hours of TV in an average day.
  • Unhealthy Eating: Multi-snackers are 66% more likely than single snackers to say that the reason they don’t eat healthier is “not enough time / too much work.” This is two times the number of non-snackers who also say the same.
  • Self-Esteem: Multi-snackers are more likely than single or non-snackers to see themselves as less physically attractive than others their age.
Interestingly CivicScience did not find that "urbanicity" had any effect overall on snacking frequency, nor did income. Snackers also are not any more likely than the general population to try new products before others.  So then Who is the Healthy Snacker?
  • Age: The healthy snacker skews much older, with 48% of them being over the age of 55 compared to 38% of all U.S. adults who fall into that age group.
  • More Educated: 24% of healthy snackers have a college or professional degree compared to 18% of the general population.
  • Single Snackers: Healthy snackers are most likely of all snackers to only snack once per day.
  • Healthy Eaters: They are 87% more likely to buy organic food regularly.
  • Active Lifestyles: This generally older group of consumers is very active, being 50% more likely to exercise fairly often (at least several times per week).
  • Brand vs. Price: When shopping for food, they believe brand and price are equally important when making a purchase decision.
Mini meals are fast becoming a mainstay in the American food landscape. Retailers must consider time of day, season, and fresh if they are looking to garner increased customer counts, top line sale and bottom line profits. Mini-meals are key to driving both customer counts and profits.

Are you interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit: for more information.

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