Mondelēz International has released its second annual State of Snacking report, a global consumer trends study examining the role of snacking in the lives of consumers around the world. This year’s report reveals proprietary insights and data around changing consumer behaviors including eating habits, shopping trends and the rising importance of mindful consumption of snacks throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mondelēz International State of Snacking report, developed in partnership with consumer polling specialist The Harris Poll, confirms and complements Mondelēz International’s proprietary, global snacking insights with bespoke research conducted among thousands of consumers across 12 countries with the intent to better understand the role that snacking plays in peoples’ lives. The report informs the company’s strategy to bite into the $1.2 trillion total snack industry.
The 2020 report underlines the growth in snacking worldwide and how behavior, sentiment and routines surrounding food are being reshaped by COVID-19.
Almost nine in 10 global adults (88 percent) say they are snacking more (46 percent) or the same (42 percent) during the pandemic than before, with Millennials and those who are working from home right now being especially likely to say they prefer snacks over meals (70 percent and 67 percent, respectively).
More than half of respondents say snacking has been a “lifeline” during the pandemic (52 percent), especially parents who are working from home (69 percent).
Snacking is an antidote for loneliness and an avenue for connection, as three in four global adults have made a connection with others via food in the last six months (77 percent), including making a snack together (40 percent), giving a snack as a gift (31 percent) or grocery shopping for someone who could not go themselves (29 percent).
Consumers also continue to highlight the importance of snacks that enable them to lead healthier lifestyles and boost emotional well-being:
- Snacking at home is providing consumers with more opportunities for mindful snacking, with two thirds (66 percent) of respondents noting they now have more control over their portion sizes and that they are now more aware of the snacks their bodies need (64 percent).
- Snacks are also nourishing their “body, mind and soul during these strange times,” (64 percent), with immunity-boosting snacks particularly top of mind (56 percent), and nearly two thirds of respondents noted that snacking has given them “much needed moments” to themselves (65 percent).
“Findings from our State of Snacking report reinforce the key role that snacking plays in the lives of global consumers, the growing importance of snacking during 2020 and the moments of peace it provides as individuals and families stay home and continue to face challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dirk Van de Put, chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International. “As we empower people to snack right, we are proud of the role we play in the lives of consumers everywhere by delivering sources of comfort, connection and community that are difficult to find in this year of isolation.”
Key findings from the Mondelēz International 2020 State of Snacking report, which is available for download at stateofsnacking.com, include:
- Global snacking is increasing as it becomes a larger part of consumers’ “new normal;”
- Snacking around the world, which was already a rapidly increasing behavior, has only accelerated as consumers spend more time at home. At the same time, the majority of respondents see snacking as a growing part of their everyday lives in the future;
- Ultimately, two-thirds believe the current pandemic will have a long-term impact on how we consume snacks as a society (65 percent);
- Nearly two-thirds of global adults say they plan to continue eating small snacks throughout the day, as opposed to fewer large meals (64 percent); and
- Six in 10 shared that snacking will be part of their “new normal” even after the pandemic ends (58 percent).
Snacking about more than just food
Consumers see snacking as an important source of comfort, connection and community, especially during the past year.
Comfort is the No. 1 driver of snacking this year, as more than half of global adults have been buying nostalgic snack brands from childhood (53 percent) and snacks that bring back good memories (59 percent) during the pandemic.
Two-thirds say snack time is one of the few moments of peace (64 percent) and bright spots in their day (63 percent), including three-quarters of parents who are working from home (76 percent and 75 percent, respectively).
Snacking also offers bite-sized moments of satisfaction and peace, with a majority of respondents noting it has helped distract them from a trying year.
Sixty-six percent noted that “Snacking is one of the few sources of reward and satisfaction in my day,” while 65 percent believe that snacking has given them much needed moments to themselves over the past few months.
Health and wellness remain top of mind
As snacking increases so, too, does the focus on healthy products and ingredients, according to the Mondelēz International report.
More than half of global adults have relied on snacks for nourishment during the pandemic (54 percent), attesting that snacks have been nourishing to their body, mind and soul during these strange times (64 percent).
A majority are also more mindful snacking at home, saying they are more focused on the snacks they eat these days (57 percent), and that they have more control over the portions they eat because they are snacking at home more often (66 percent).
The way in which consumers purchase snacks is rapidly changing
Virtual snack shopping has reached a tipping point, with almost of half of respondents buying online.
Half of global adults say they have started to buy snacks online more often than they do in-store or offline (47 percent), with seven in 10 planning to continue shopping for snacks online once the pandemic is over (69 percent).
A majority say the pandemic has opened their eyes to so many more ways to get snacks than they knew existed before (57 percent), including three in 10 who have discovered snacks to try on social media (28 percent).
“The results of our State of Snacking survey not only underscore the value snacking brings to families and individuals but help us to even better understand the evolving needs of our consumers worldwide so that we can continue to adapt and offer them the snacks they want, where, when and how they want them,” said Van de Put.
About the research methodology
This survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Mondelēz International from Oct. 6-20, among 6,292 global adults ages 18 and older. The research spanned 12 markets, including: The United States (n=506), Canada (n=503), Mexico (n=540), Brazil (n=530), France (n=519), Germany (n=520), The United Kingdom (n=500), Russia (n=504), China (n=550), India (n=555), Indonesia (n=555) and Australia (n=510).
Other key groups analyzed include: Gen Z / Centennial ages 18-23 (n=945), Millennials ages 24-39 (n=2222), Gen Xers ages 40- 55 (n=1646), Boomers ages 56-74 (n=1348), and the Silent Generation ages 75+ (n=130). Data from 2019 references a similar study conducted from September 16 – 24, 2019, among 6,068 global adults.