- "Snacker Nation," a new white paper from Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS) FoodThink, illustrates the evolving snacking culture of the U.S., an industry that is predicted to grow to $47.5 billion by 2015, up from $34.2 billion a decade ago.
- The report breaks down snackers into five groups based on particular demographic insights, snacking attitudes, and possible snack offerings. "The Healthy Snacker" comprised the largest segment of the surveyed population at 29%.
- Food companies can study these snacker profiles to determine target demographics on which to base products and marketing.
FoodThink's white paper contains a number of insights which could be valuable to food companies. According to the report, 44% of respondents have changed say their definition of a snack, and three out of four include snacks as part of a healthy diet. Also, 37% of millennials, a target demographic for many food companies and marketers, intend to increase their snacking in the future.
Such numbers may influence food companies to transform products into foods that go beyond three meals a day and can appeal to snack-loving consumers. This is increasingly true for healthy snacking, as more consumers turn to healthier foods for all times of the day. Snacks also provide opportunities for food companies to think outside of the box and envision product lines to provide consumers with foods that are easier, faster, and more affordable to eat.
"People aren't as concerned about spoiling their dinner by snacking anymore, and they are looking at food companies to provide them with more snack-size meal choices. Food marketers that consider delivering a variety of smaller meals with some healthy, convenient options on the menu or on the shelf that encourage shareable meals will strongly appeal to consumers," said Christy Niebaum, senior FoodThink researcher.