We’re walking, we’re talking, we’re craving, and we’re grazing. Having grown up in an era of technology, our mobile/wired Millennials have developed an “of the moment” mentality. No surprise, their snacking behavior is a result of their spontaneous lifestyles.
Earlier in the year, Technomic’s released the 2010 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trends Study that documented consumers snacking habits. Versus two years ago, 21 percent indicated that they snack more often; 55 percent of those surveyed indicated that they snack at least once per day. A larger percentage of snacks are bought at retail locations and eaten at home. However, consumers aged 18 to 24 are more likely to snack outside the house. To me this further validates the Millennials 24/7 on the go, got to have it now, craving frame of mind.
The study also indicated that the top three driving snack consumption factors were convenience (62%), portability (59%) and price (48%). All bode well for foodservice operators targeting Millennials, especially by offering an attractive price point. Cost control is a major driver of their food choices, since this group has been hit hardest by the recession – unemployment 19.5% in the first quarter versus the 9.5% average for the entire workforce.
Other relevant snacking information that I read recently was provided in a study conducted by the research company Mintel. Peak snacking occurred between 3 to 6 PM (37 percent of their respondents), but people tend to spend more between 6 to 8 PM, an average of $4.26 per person versus $3.79 across all other time periods. A majority of the people snacking were looking for beverage (64%) or something portable (61%). Over half (52%) craved something indulgent, while a smaller percentage (32%) desired a healthy option.
Closing thought: Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Will Americans have time to sit down for their traditional Thanksgiving meal or will they make the move towards “grab & go?”