Mondelez: Consumers continue to prefer snacks to meals

9 Feb 2022

It’s no secret that snacking has become commonplace. Vast majority of people are consuming snacks on a daily basis, and snacking is no longer the exclusive domain of better-for-you options, according to Mondelez International’s third annual State of Snacking report.

Data from the company’s survey of 3,055 people across 12 countries showed 85% of respondents eat at least one snack per day for indulgence. With the majority (88%) of consumers agreeing that a balanced diet can include a little indulgence, Mondelez made a point of singling out chocolate as a favorite among shoppers with 74% saying that “they can’t imagine a world without chocolate.”

Mondelez: Consumers continue to prefer snacks to meals

Indulgence has become an increasingly prevalent adjective in the snacking space recently. At the onset of the pandemic, IRI data showed cookie sales jumped 6.6% for the 52-weeks ending Sept. 16 while data from the National Confectioners Association showed chocolate sales rising 5.5% between March and September. By the beginning of 2021, IRI was forecasting that brands would innovate new products with an eye toward indulgence; the research firm’s anticipated trend came to fruition. Nestlé recently launched chilled snack bars filled with nut butters and premium chocolate, Kind has moved from bars into candy-flavored bark and it introduced its frozen ice cream bars and the Mexican brand Sigma recently launched chocolate and amaranth wafers in the U.S.

But indulgence is not the only thing that Mondelez found to be driving the trajectory of the snack market. Mondelez’s report highlighted how environmental consciousness is a key consideration for consumers purchasing snacks. The report found 85% of consumers worldwide want to buy snacks from companies offsetting their environmental footprint. Within that, the most important issue for shoppers that will impact their purchasing decisions is low-waste packaging followed by animal welfare.

“They are making more of an effort to learn more about the brands or companies they buy from and becoming more discerning over the sustainable nature of the snacks they choose,” the report said.

To help choose their snacks, consumers are relying on their social media feeds to find food trends, inspiration, and connections. Fifty-five percent of global consumers said social media-inspired them to try a new snack in the past year, and those numbers were even larger for Gen Zs and Millennials, 70% and 71% of which, respectively, relied on social platforms to inform their choices.

Whatever consumers are reaching for, Mondelez made it clear that snacking is on the rise, and there is no sign that the popularity of snacks will slow any time soon. “Notably, consumers continue to prefer snacking occasions throughout the day over traditional mealtime – as this growing behavior, accelerated by the ongoing pandemic, increasingly becomes part of daily life,” Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International said in a statement.

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