The times of consuming three square meals a day are long gone here in the U.S.. While there are some Americans who still sit down to three meals a day, many more have become serial snackers, replacing traditional meals with grab and go items, eating anywhere from four to six times per day.
Why Are Snacks So Popular?
Snacks were once considered to be an indulgence, but they are now necessary, portable meal replacements for a nation on the go. Some of the factors driving the increase in snacking include:
- No time to cook:
Jam-packed schedules leave people with little or no time to cook a square meal in their kitchen.
- Spending more time in the car:
Those busy schedules lead to more time in the car, and that’s often the most convenient place and time to consume a snack.
The mobile web has made it more common to work at home, on the road, in the car, etc. When you’re working, it’s a lot easier to grab a ready-made snack than to cook a meal, or even heat up a TV dinner or bowl of soup.
- No one likes cooking for one (or two):
60% of U.S. households are made up of two people or less. In 1960, that number was 40%.
The evidence shows that “being busy” is a major driver behind serial snacking. Weekdays are typically far busier than weekends, but Americans aren’t cooking on Saturday or Sunday, either. While out running errands and connecting with friends and family, people grab snacks on the go.
What People Are Eating When They Aren’t Eating Meals
Major food manufacturers are starting to feel the pinch of this trend. According to the Wall Street Journal, Kellogg’s has seen a dramatic decrease in sales, as has competing breakfast cereal giant General Mills. Soup sales have also decreased and sales of pasta have experienced negligible growth. Meanwhile, sales of snack foods have seen an eight percent increase.
While lots of people grab a soda and a candy bar as a snack, serial snackers who are grazing in place of meals are more likely to be searching for healthy options. They want snacks that will fill them up, provide them with energy, and won’t tack on (too many) empty calories. People also want their snacks to be more fun and complex in terms of flavor, since they are foregoing full-blown meals. Nut mixes have become extremely popular because they check off all of those boxes, allowing indulgence without guilt.
Are you looking for healthy snacks to sell to your customers?
If you are looking to provide your serial snacking customers with healthy options to satisfy their hunger throughout the day, Mister Snacks has solutions that will meet the tastes and demands of your customers. We offer a variety of high-margin, healthy snacks tailored to this “new normal.” Contact us today to learn more about the ways in which we can help you meet and exceed your goals this year.