American women are 15% more likely to snack than their male counterparts, according to research from The NPD Group’s SnackTrack.
Women consume an average of 3.1 snack foods a day compared to the 2.7 for men.
Snacks that satisfy expectations
Kim McLynn, director of public relations at the NPD Group told BakeryandSnacks: “Women especially appear to be relying on the snacking to obtain nutrients that might otherwise be lacking in their diet – but sensory enjoyment and taste are also important to women.”
Taste is the principal motivation for all ages and gender, but women are more likely to pick snacks to satisfy an expectation, such as sweet, crunchy or healthy.
“Since women rely on snacking to obtain nutrients, healthier snack options are more popular with women, but, again, their snack choices are also driven by taste, cravings, and indulgence, which often translates to chocolate, sweets, or crunchy snacks,” said McLynn.
The research found that fresh fruit was the most widely consumed snack-oriented convenience food among all genders followed by chocolate, potato chips, cookies and yogurt.
Mood impacts choices
“Although there are gender differences in snack choices, an individual’s mood and situation has a stronger effect on what will be snacked on than age, gender or even time of day,” said McLynn.
“Snack manufacturers should focus product development and marketing on the motivational need states driving snack choices. Does the product address the emotional nature of snacking – think taste, cravings, and indulgence.
She added that health and wellness innovation should also be a part of product and marketing strategy with a focus on low/reduced fat or low/reduced calorie options.
Opportunity for nutrition-focus
Bridget Brennan, a female marketing expert, recently told our sister site NutraIngredients that food firms should not patronize women with “pink marketing”.
She argued that while the majority of food shoppers were women, marketers tended to be men, and they often missed the point.
She said the food industry had huge opportunities to become more nutritionally focused. See HERE.