Helping Shoppers Snack Sensibly
Progressive Grocer|November 2020
RETAILERS CAN GUIDE SHOPPERS ON WHAT, WHEN AND HOW MUCH.
Karen Buch
The novel coronavirus outbreak has dramatically affected American eating and snacking habits in 2020. IRI research indicates that consumers have increased their snacking occasions. The average consumer eats 2.6 snacks per day, while 42 percent of all consumers report snacking more than three times per day. For some, snacks are an impulsive replacement for meals as an instantaneous way to quell a nagging appetite. Recent work-from-home and school-at-home trends have helped boost Americans’ frequent snacking habits to new heights.

What Do Consumers Look for in a Snack?

A number of factors influence snack purchases. Value continues to be an important element of snack selection, with 72 percent of consumers checking the prices of snacks before deciding on one. And, of course, taste still rules. It takes the right combination of sensory characteristics, including visual appearance, aroma, texture and flavor (sweet, savory, sour, bitter and salty) to truly satisfy snack cravings. Convenience remains a top priority in terms of a snack’s portability and immediacy of consumption. Snacks that provide value, taste and convenience, with broad appeal to the whole family, have the best chance of making it into the shopping cart.

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