Study shows the number of Americans who replace meals with snacks is on the rise

By Douglas Yu contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: Creative Commons Zero
Pic: Creative Commons Zero
According to a poll commissioned by French toast sticks maker Farm Rich, 86% of Americans have replaced a traditional meal with a snack meal, a new Farm Rich-backed study found.

The survey was conducted between July and August, this year, by market researcher OnePoll, sampling 2,000 adults across the US.

“Farm Rich is interested in understanding the changing eating habits of Americans and how this may impact the frozen foods segment,”​ said Arielle Davanzo, spokesperson of Farm Rich.

“The brand also wanted to take a look at the difference in snacking trends among varying demographics and use the information for future production innovations,” ​she added.

Men more likely to eat three meals a day

The survey revealed the average American eats two meals and three snacks each day with men more likely to still consume the traditional three meals a day. Nearly half of the respondents admitted they replaced lunch with snacks.

Shannon Gilreath, director of marketing at Farm Rich, noted Americans snack the most at home.

Snack Meals Infographic_final
Pic: Farm Rich

“The growth of digital streaming and desire for quick foods that fuel us have led to an increase in snack consumption, especially at home,”​ she said.

According to the study, 81% of respondents consumed snacks at home, while an additional 31% said they snack at their offices as well. Desk drawers are often treasure chests of quick, light bites, with the most popular snacks being cheese, crackers, fruit and potato chips.

“People are no longer feeling bound to the traditional three meals a day, which gives them more variety and time back to do the things they enjoy most, and for many, that doesn’t involve a ton of time in the kitchen, especially on busy days,” ​added Gilreath.

Microwave vs conventional oven

The survey noted the fast growth of the freezer aisle was a major reason why shoppers are turning to quick snack meals, being a great resource for foods that offer the ‘ease, long shelf life, variety and sustenance people sometimes need.’

Farm Rich noted: ‘The frozen foods segment of grocery store shopping has seen strong growth over the past 12 months,’​ adding that 33% of the respondents shopped at the frozen sector at least once a week.

“[We are] definitely looking at more microwavable offerings as this was the cooking appliance of choice the survey found, and offers quicker snack meals,” ​said Davanzo.