Balanced diets with 'a little indulgence' are key trends in snacking motivations

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

75% of respondents said they would like easier-to-process snack health indicators on the pack. Pic: GettyImages
75% of respondents said they would like easier-to-process snack health indicators on the pack. Pic: GettyImages

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A new global consumer trends study examining year-over-year insights on how consumers make snacking decisions reveals that mindfulness and wellbeing considerations are increasingly important in snacking.

Mondelēz International's third annual State of Snacking report​ confirms today that consumers prefer snacking as a regular eating behaviour over traditional mealtime for the third consecutive year (64%), up 5% since inaugural findings reported in 2019.

The company said the trending preference for snacking spikes among younger generations, with 75% of Gen Zs replacing at least one meal each day with a snack.

The report also reveals key insights around changing consumer behaviours, including eating habits, shopping trends and the continued importance of mindful consumption of snacks throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key findings from the report include: 

  • Beyond nutrition – 85% of consumers eat at least one snack per day for indulgence; 88% say a balanced diet can include a little indulgence; and 74% say they can’t imagine a world without chocolate.
  • 85% of consumers worldwide want to buy snacks from companies offsetting their environmental footprint.
  • Nearly 80% of consumers globally say their definition of a snack has evolved over the last 3 years to include more or different types of foods, occasions for eating, or other elements.
  • Consumers are experimenting with new channels to buy snacks, with more than half reporting shopping for snacks using at least three nontraditional or emerging channels in the last year (53%).
  • Social media is a rising source of discovery as consumers increasingly find food trends, inspiration, and connection on their feeds, with more than half of global consumers (55%) say social media has inspired them to try a new snack in the past year.

Mondelēz’s data reveals that recommendations from family and friends is now neck-and-neck with browsing or shopping in-store when it comes to trialling new products – 42% vs 44%, with in-store only seeing a slight uptick of 2% versus 2020.

The report also revealed gifting snacks saw a big spike, up 8% compared with 2020 levels, almost matching the increase in advertising effectiveness, at 10% year on year.

Our State of Snacking report found that the definition of snacking is evolving among consumers globally, which is reshaping the meaning of snacking within people’s lives​,” said Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International.

Snacking is much more than a source of nutrition and indulgence; it also is a source of social connection and inspiration for broadened experiences. Notably, consumers continue to prefer snacking occasions throughout the day over traditional mealtime – as this growing behaviour, accelerated by the ongoing pandemic, increasingly becomes part of daily life. That’s why we are proud to continue offering the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way​.”

The State of Snacking report also reveals 64% of respondents are looking for portion controlled snacks. Labelling is also seen as an important part of packaging with 75% of respondents saying they would like easier-to-process snack health indicators on the pack, for example, ‘green’ for very healthy.

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