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Key Takeaways from Mondelēz International’s State of Snacking™ report

Key Takeaways from Mondelēz International’s State of Snacking™ report

Snacking remained a source of great comfort to consumers in 2020, according to the second annual State of Snacking™ report. This global consumer trends study, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Mondelēz International in October 2020, provides valuable insight into the daily snacking habits of thousands of people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Micro market operators should be aware of the food and beverage trends that affect customers’ purchasing decisions and understand the habits and behaviors that drive these trends. Examining how snacking can continue to meet consumers’ evolving needs—especially during a stressful year with a pandemic, social unrest and a presidential election—will give operators the information they need to offer an ideal product mix in their markets.

Here are four important insights from the State of Snacking™ report and tips on how micro market operators can leverage these insights in their businesses in 2021:

1. Snacking increased during the pandemic, which could impact consumer behavior when more people return to the workplace.

Almost 9 in 10 adults reported that they were snacking more frequently (46%) or the same amount (42%) throughout the day during the pandemic. Millennials (70%) and adults working from home (67%) said they were most likely to prefer snacks over meals.

Additionally, roughly two-thirds of adults plan to continue eating snacks throughout the day instead of larger meals, suggesting that this trend will continue after the pandemic subsides and “normalcy” resumes. This signals to operators that they should enhance snacking offerings in their micro markets and give customers a wider variety of quality snacks across all dayparts.

2. Snacking serves as a comforting ritual that helps consumers feel connected, which is especially important during a challenging year.

Adults sought comfort in snacking in 2020, with 64% of survey respondents noting that snacking provides rare moments of peace in their day. This was especially true for parents working from home, who were likely experiencing elevated levels of stress working alongside children.

More than half of respondents also said they favor nostalgic childhood snack brands, which evoke happy memories. Operators should therefore stock micro markets with traditional snack favorites alongside new and emerging brands. They should also commit to regularly evaluating and refreshing their product mix to ensure they’re meeting their customers’ changing needs.

3. The everyday reminder of a global pandemic pushed consumers to think more about health and wellness, impacting snacking behavior.

With over half of the survey respondents reporting that they relied on snacks for nourishment throughout the pandemic, it’s clear that better-for-you and healthy options will be bigger than ever in 2021. Additionally, 66% indicated they’ve exercised more portion control while snacking at home, suggesting that a larger number of consumers are taking a more mindful approach to snack time. Operators should continue to offer healthy snacks and functional foods and beverages in their micro markets, as wellness will continue to be top of mind.

4. Consumers spent a lot of time at home in 2020, which changed the way they purchased snacks.

Almost half (47%) of survey respondents said they started buying snacks online more frequently than in-store or offline in 2020. Grocery stores, convenience stores and CPG (consumer packaged goods) brands expanded services to cater to the needs of consumers who didn’t want to leave the house by offering delivery, pickup, and direct-to-consumer mailing options. Meanwhile, seven out of 10 respondents said they will continue to buy snacks online after the pandemic.

Operators should expect to compete with these enhanced services in 2021. They can recapture business by offering promotions to entice customers back into the micro market, where they will discover a wide variety of snack and meal options. Keeping the product mix fresh with a mix of old favorites and exciting new brands and flavors also will keep customers coming back in 2021 and beyond.

What else trended in micro markets in 2020? Here’s a recap of the industry’s biggest news stories.

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