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Women want indulgence and health in snacks… Scrap that stereotype, says Canadean

By Kacey Culliney , 19-Jun-2013
Last updated on 19-Jun-2013 at 13:53 GMT2013-06-19T13:53:45Z

It's not 'health' that's motivating that snack! Canadean research suggests stereotypes need to be reassessed
It's not 'health' that's motivating that snack! Canadean research suggests stereotypes need to be reassessed

There is a strong stereotype that women want indulgence and health when snacking, but in the US and Europe health comes eleventh in snack motivations, according to new research from Canadean.

New data compiled by consumer research firm Canadean has found that women in the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK are not motivated by health when snacking.

Indulgence was cited as a number one motivator, followed by personal space and time then fun and enjoyment. Health listed in eleventh place after others including value for money and quality.

“The fact that indulgence and personal space and time are ranked as the key motivations in our survey shows that snacking, above all else, is about treating oneself – whether it be a special, indulgent occasion or a more regular break from work,” said Ronan Stafford, reports analyst at Canadean.

“There is this stereotype of women wanting indulgence but health. But we think this market is much smaller than people are making it out to be,” Stafford told BakeryandSnacks.com.

“The market is very limited. Health is a low priority in snacks,” he said.

Mind the ‘attitude-behavior’ gap…

Canadean findings indicate that 14.1% of male and female consumers said they would look for a healthy snack. But after follow-up research looking at what was actually purchased, only 10.6% bought healthy snacks.

“We call this the attitude-behavior gap,” said Stafford.

“Asking people what they want and whey they do are two separate things and if you’re too reliant on either one, then you’re going to miss out on what consumers truly want,” he said.

“There’s a lot of noise on consumers wanting healthy snacks,” Stafford said, but noted that there may be confusion on where that noise is coming from.

When you compare these health motivation percentages to the 40% plus that said indulgence is a key motivator for snack purchases, health is clearly not the main motivator, the analyst said.

“It’s a very difficult position for snack makers because there’s quite strong regulatory pressure. They are caught between a rock and a hard place on delivering healthy snacks to consumers who may not want them,” he said.

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