A new report by US consumer market research group NPD Group – Snacking in America – found that consumers view snacking as one way to improve healthy eating habits and that the morning was the dominant occasion to do so.
Kathy Ross, author of the report, told BakeryandSnacks.com that the morning snack occasion has been growing in importance over the past several years, as has breakfast.
“Because of this growth and strength of morning occasion among an ageing population, I would think that manufacturers would at least want to consider this occasion for any future product innovations,” Ross said.
Manufacturers looking to dive into opportunities presented in this rise should focus on health and nutrition, she said, as the morning occasion is strongly defined by this along with portability and convenience.
“These could be considered mutually exclusive or could be combined for healthy and portable items,” she added.
Darren Seifer, food and beverage analyst at NPD, agreed that manufacturers should take the shift in consumer views on snacks as inspiration.
Consumers now view snacking as one way to improve healthy eating habits, Seifer said, and this provides an opportunity for manufacturers to make health and wellness innovation part of their product development and marketing strategy.
However, Lee Linthicum, head of food research at Euromonitor International, said that developing healthy, successful snacks is a huge challenge for manufacturers because indulgence will trump health every time for consumers.
Linthicum said that because healthy snacks cannot be as indulgent as their chocolatey, fatty counterparts, convenience will be a key factor to success. See HERE .
Less impulse, more planning
The NPD report also debunked a common association that snacking is based on impulse; it found that almost 80% of all snacking is planned.
Ross said that to succeed in the snacking space, manufacturers must invest efforts to be “in the consumer’s consideration set well before snacking urge occurs”.
“Firms need to raise awareness to get on consumer’s shopping list or at least attract their attention while at the store,” she said.
For more insights into this report, read HERE.