Chicago, Illinois-based Mondelēz International has released its third annual State of Snacking report, a global consumer trends study examining year-over-year insights on how consumers make snacking decisions.
This year’s report shows mindfulness and well-being considerations are increasingly important in snacking. The report also confirms that consumers prefer snacking as a regular eating behavior over traditional mealtime for the third consecutive year.
This trending preference for snacking spikes among younger generations, with 75 percent of Gen Z replacing at least one meal each day with a snack.
The report, developed in partnership with The Harris Poll, complements Mondelēz International’s proprietary insights knowledge – including macro trends informing the future of snacking – with new polling research conducted among thousands of consumers across 12 countries.
Key findings include:
- Expanded definition – nearly 80 percent of consumers globally say their definition of a snack has evolved over the last three years to include more or different types of foods, occasions for eating or other elements.
- Beyond nutrition – 85 percent of consumers eat at least one snack per day for indulgence, 88 percent say a balanced diet can include a little indulgence, and 74 percent say they can’t imagine a world without chocolate.
- Integrating purchasing decisions with values – 85 percent of consumers worldwide want to buy snacks from companies offsetting their environmental footprint.
- Expanding experiences through social connectivity – more than half of people globally say social media has inspired them to try a new snack over the past year.
Furthermore, consumers are seeking snacks that deliver a range of benefits beyond physical well-being and nutrition needs. Consumers’ habits indicate both sustenance and indulgence are part of a balanced lifestyle, with 85 percent of consumers now eating at least one snack for sustenance and one snack for indulgence each day.
Additionally, snacking continues to serve as a vehicle for emotional well-being, with nearly eight in 10 global consumers agreeing that some snacks should be just for enjoyment or satisfaction, without worrying too much about nutrition.
Mindfulness and values-centric consumption also are increasingly top of mind, as 86 percent of consumers believe in the importance of control over their choices through portion size options and ingredient transparency.
“Our report found that the definition of snacking is evolving among consumers globally, which is reshaping the meaning of snacking within people’s lives,” said Dirk Van de Put, chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International.
“Snacking is much more than a source of nutrition and indulgence; it also is a source of social connection and inspiration for broadened experiences. Notably, consumers continue to prefer occasions throughout the day over traditional mealtime – as this growing behavior, accelerated by the ongoing pandemic, increasingly becomes part of daily life. That’s why we are proud to continue offering the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way,” he said.
Additional findings from the report include:
- Consumers are experimenting with new channels to buy snacks, with more than half reporting shopping for snacks using at least three nontraditional or emerging channels in the last year. These channels include delivery apps, online ordering for curbside or in-store pickup and direct-to-consumer websites.
- Majorities of global consumers expect to be able to buy the snacks they want whenever they want and using any channel they want. This trend is especially strong in Asia and Latin America.
- Consumers are growing more intentional about their purchase decisions as they become more in touch with their values. They are making more of an effort to learn more about the brands or companies they buy from and becoming more discerning over the sustainable nature of the snacks they choose.
- Reducing waste is top of mind, as consumers say the No. 1 environmental impact on their food choices is availability of low waste packaging.
- Social media is a rising source of discovery as consumers increasingly find food trends, inspiration and connection on their feeds.
- 55 percent of global consumers say social media has inspired them to try a new snack in the past year, including 70 percent of Gen Zs and Millennials.
“Consumers are becoming more discerning with their choices as the trend toward conscious consumption grows, and we continue to find that balanced diets now often include a little indulgence for the majority,” said Van de Put.
“Consumers also expect to be able to get their snacks whenever and wherever they want. The findings of this report help inform our strategy so that at Mondelēz International, we can continue to anticipate and address the evolving tastes and preferences of the global consumer,” he said.
For more information, download the report at mondelezinternational.com/stateofsnacking.
For more on previous reports by Mondelez, click here.