Mondelez releases it second State of Snacking report30 Nov 2020
Snacking has now become a lifeline for people weathering the lingering pandemic. As compared to pre-COVID-19, 88% of adults say that their snacking has increased since this past spring, according to Mondelez’s second annual State of Snacking report.
In addition to more adults snacking overall, the report noted that comfort is the No. 1 motivator for people reaching for snacks. In fact, 53% of consumers are purchasing nostalgic childhood brands, a finding that was supported Mondelez data reported earlier this spring which showed that consumers are seeking trusted familiar brands like its Oreo and Triscuit brands that provide indulgence.
While this year’s report shows that snacking remains a popular option to provide sustenance, the reasons that people are reaching for snacks are changing. In last year’s report, convenience was the No. 1 driving factor behind snack choice. However, this year’s large-scale reduction in movement has resulted in convenience not making it onto the list of considerations for shoppers selecting snacks. Instead, supplementing diets with snacks geared toward boosting immunity and nourishing mind, body and soul have become important drivers for 56% and 64% of adults.
However, 2020 does not mark the first time that functional snacking that provides specific nutritional benefits was identified a primary consideration for shoppers. Last year, the snacking giant’s report found that snacking options providing personalized nutrition were in demand with 42% of consumers.
The rise in the popularity of snacking mirrors other trends in the food and beverage industry including e-commerce, direct-to-consumer brands and a wholesale shift in shopping priorities. Since the pandemic arrived, 85% of individuals have altered their diet in some way with snacking becoming increasingly prevalent, according to The Food & Health Survey from the International Food Information Council.
While taste and functions are large accelerants behind this shift, ease of access is also playing a role. Many major companies like Mondelez, Unilever and PepsiCo have rolled out DTC platforms to cater to the half of adults that are buying snacks online, per State of Snacking numbers. While already a majority of shoppers are engaging with companies digitally, that number is only forecast to increase. In its report, Mondelez found that 69% of people planning to continue shopping for snacks online once the pandemic is over.
Despite this steady demand for snacks, Mondelez recently announced that it is considering closing two of its U.S.-based manufacturing plants in early 2021. Although the company has not yet made an official decision, closing manufacturing plants has become a popular strategy in recent years as companies look to cut costs and adapt to shifting consumer behavior that is more frequently gravitating toward online and direct-to-consumer options.
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