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Satisfy Hunger to Help Nourish Sales

Eating for Hunger not Fuel

Consumers today may be too busy to eat a traditional sit-down meal, but that doesn’t mean they’re not hungry. In fact, their on-the- go lifestyle is conducive to working up a big appetite. They look to snacking as a convenient option when hunger pangs prompt them to grab something satisfying to eat that won’t slow them down. Snacking can also be a way to control calories—a quick bite over a full-blown meal.


64% of adults surveyed snack to manage hunger and/or prevent overeating—making hunger management the number-one reason for snacking.1

It’s a hungry nation that has taken to snacking daily. A poll conducted by the market research firm Mintel shows that almost all Americans (94%) snack at least once a day,2 while research from the Hartman Group determined that snacking now accounts for 50% of all eating occasions.3

Millennials lead the charge as America’s largest demographic cohort, and the generation is more likely than any other to snack, with one in four considered “Super Snackers” for partaking four or more times a day.4

Millennial snack mania is not limited to the United States. Consumer insight firm Canadean found that globally, 41% of millennials aged 18–24 and 44% of those aged 25–34 snack on a regular basis between meals. 5 That said, snacking among millennials surges in the States, where survey results show that the percentage of between-meal millennial snackers jumps to 78%.4

And millennials in America are increasingly substituting snacks for meals, with 64% surveyed claiming that snacks are affordable meal replacements, and 20% believing snacking is better for you than eating three meals a day.4

On The Go and in the Know

Grab-and- go snacks that offer rich, satisfying flavor profiles align with the millennial dual need for convenience and hunger relief. As snacking frequency increases and the definition of meals stretches to include snacks, foodservice operators can take advantage of new opportunities to help boost sales with quick-fix hunger solutions.

The Hartman Group cites the growing market segment of mini-meal eaters as an area of opportunity and an example of changing eating habits. According to survey data from the food and beverage research firm, 50% of mini-meal eaters say these smaller portions are a replacement for a traditional breakfast, lunch or dinner, and 20% enjoy them in addition to a full meal. 6

“The future of snacking presents multiple opportunities for companies to relate with consumers around new, flexible eating styles,” Laurie Demeritt, CEO of the Hartman Group, explained in SmartBrief. “With fewer cultural constraints than meals, the future of snacking will give consumers opportunities to explore new kinds of foods, beverages and brands while bending traditional eating patterns to their personal needs and wants.”6

In the end, millennials are hungry for quick, yet fulfilling, food experiences. By making sure their product assortments can accommodate demand for snacks that combine time and hunger management, foodservice operators can capitalize on the blurring boundaries between snacks and meals.

1 Added Value Q3 2015

2 The Hartman Group, The Future of Snacking 2016 webinar, Feb. 28, 2017

3Mintel, A Snacking Nation: 94% of Americans Snack Daily, July 9, 2015

4 Huff, Skyler, The Snack Hack, FutureCast, Feb. 7, 2017

5Schouten, Rebekah, “Three reasons millennials are snacking,” Food Business News, July 14, 2016

6Demeritt, Laurie, “A framework for understanding the ‘why’ of snacking,” SmartBrief, Apr. 5, 2017

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