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Millennials replace meals with snacks, survey finds

Gill Hyslop

By Gill Hyslop+

28-Feb-2017

Millennials said they snack because they are too busy to eat a sit-down meal or couldn't be bothered to cook a meal. Pic: ©iStock/ariwasabi
Millennials said they snack because they are too busy to eat a sit-down meal or couldn't be bothered to cook a meal. Pic: ©iStock/ariwasabi

Most Americans between the ages of 18 and 35 eat a ‘wholesome’ snack in place of a standard meal at least once a week.

The data comes from a survey commissioned by Welch’s Global Ingredients Group and conducted independently by Surveygoo in January.

When asked how often they eat a snack instead of having breakfast, lunch or dinner, 92% of millennials admitted to do so a minimum of once a week.

Half said they replace a meal with a snack about four times a week, while 26% said they do so up to seven times a week.

Snackification of mealtimes

According to the research, 39% of millennials said they snack because they are too busy to eat a sit-down meal, while 17% admitted they ‘can’t be bothered to cook a meal’.

“The survey quantifies and expands on what we already suspected: the replacement of meals with snacks among millennials is widespread,” said Wayne Lutomski, VP International of Welch Foods, supplier of FruitWorx real fruit pieces and powders.

These consumers need their snacks to be convenient for their busy lives,” he said, noting that 48% of millennials eat snacks at work and 34% in the car.

As such, they also expect the snacks to contribute to their daily nutrition needs.

The survey reported US millennials prefer whole food ingredients like wholegrains (43%), real fruit pieces (42%) and nuts (39%).

More than half of them (68%) also want to know the origin of the fruit in their snacks.

Fruit footprint

As the processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative, which is owned by almost 1,000 family farmers located across North America, Welch’s can pinpoint the locality of the Concord grapes used to create its FruitWorx fruit pieces. These include New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Washington and Ontario in Canada.

A dark purple variety that originates from Concord in Massachusetts, the grape is also loaded with polyphenols, classing it a superfruit, said Lutomski.

“In fact, Concord FruitWorx delivers more than twice the polyphenols as the leading brand of sweetened dried cranberries, and three times as many polyphenols as the leading brand of raisins,” he claimed.

Beyond the grape

“Welch Foods is a grape specialist. However, with FruitWorx, we are able to offer Concord and Niagara grape pieces blended with other fruits, as well as ancient grains and even vegetables to create interesting flavor combinations. The opportunities for innovation are limitless,” he said.

FruitWorx fruit pieces are made using technology called ultra-rapid concentration (URC), developed by Welch Foods’ partner company, Taura Natural Ingredients.

Lutomski told BakeryandSnacks that FruitWorx pieces are currently only available in the US, “but we hope to bring them to the wider global market in the near future.

“Our intention is to launch FruitWorx more widely beyond the US in the future, although we currently have no fixed timeline on that. With that said, if potential customers are interested, we would welcome that conversation,” Lutomski told us, noting that Taura Natural Ingredients does sell similar real fruit, non-grape products worldwide.

“We have a growing footprint in Europe and parts of Asia – especially Japan, Korea and China,” he added. “In EMEA and China we operate through our distribution partner, WILD.”

Concord grapes. Pic: ©iStock/mgrafx

The grape company

Welch’s Global Ingredients Group was founded in 2014 as the ingredients division of Welch Foods that produces the well-known 150-year-old Welch’s brand.

The company’s primary ingredients include Concord and Niagara grape juices, juice concentrates and purées made in the US, as well as a range of powders and fruit bites.

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