Humans are hardwired to crave crunchy foods. What we eat is largely defined by culture, but regardless of geography, people all around the world seem to value crispy, crunchy snacks. Aside from some evolutionary reasons for that, there are also reasons related to stress, staying hydrated, and wanting extra stimulation. In fact, there are functional imaging studies that show certain parts of the brain lighting up when you simply say the word “crispy.” Here are the reasons that researchers claim people crave crunchy snacks.
5 Reasons Why Crunchy Snacks Fly Off Shelves
1) Prehistoric delicacies
Our primate cousins and prehistoric ancestors ate…wait for it…insects! Adult insects have crunchy exoskeletons of chitin and many cultures still consume them, usually seasoned and fried to enhance the crispiness. Another staple of those ancient diets are plants, certain parts of which are especially crunchy. Think of pods, stalks and roots. We still munch on carrots, celery, and apples, and the act of chewing makes us feel fuller.
2) Hardwired for fat
Tortilla chips, French fries, potato chips, fried chicken. What makes these foods crunchy? Generally it’s that they’re cooked in fatty oils. If we think in terms of human evolution, we’re drawn to fattier foods so we can store extra calories and pad on insulation, necessary to protect us from the bitter cold and help us fight predators. So when we yearn for fattier foods, it’s because our bodies are programmed to find ways to survive.
3) Too many soft foods
Juices, smoothies, soups, and yogurts are super popular right now, mainly for their health benefits. Delicious and nutritious, yes, but when unused, the salivary glands and muscles in the jaw become bored and need some stimulation. Hence, a craving for pretzels, chips, nuts, or popcorn.
4) Customers are dehydrated
Thirst is sometimes masked as hunger. When you’re not drinking enough water or you’re losing it too fast—think sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting—you often crave crunchy, salty snacks to help you retain water. This is why stores often display salty snacks at the end of the cold drink refrigerators.
5) Too much stress
Munching away on crunchy foods is a good way to relieve frustration, anger or resentment. The act is cathartic, almost like punching a wall. Noshing on nuts is a good substitute for chips that are high in sodium and fats. Plus, nuts provide a healthy serving of good fats, protein, and fiber to keep the customer fuller longer.
Are you looking for snacks that your customers crave?
For more information on how Mister Snacks can help you provide your customers with a wide variety of crunchy snacks that your customers will crave, contact our team today.