71% of Consumers Snack at Least Twice Daily

Brand names still have an edge over generic when it comes to snacks, new research finds.

January 23, 2023

CHICAGO—Consumers worldwide are prioritizing snacking, despite rising costs and economic challenges, according to Mondelēz International’s fourth annual State of Snacking report, developed in partnership with The Harris Poll. The report tracks snacking attitudes and behaviors among thousands of consumers surveyed across 12 countries for a fourth consecutive year.

Mondelēz found that consumers are looking for snacks to meet different needs in their lives. The vast majority said they regularly snack to reward themselves (78%) and for a sense of comfort (77%), including a majority of millennials (85% for both reasons). Also, 67% saying they would buy fewer of their favorite snack brands rather than generic alternatives, regardless of cost.

“Our State of Snacking report confirms that in these trying times, consumers around the world view their favorite snacks as affordable and necessary indulgences,” said Dirk Van de Put, chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International. “Snacking continues to be a way for consumers to connect or to enjoy a moment of delight in their day, further demonstrating our belief that every snack can be enjoyed in a mindful way.”

Consumers are making an effort to be mindful and present while snacking, with 78% reporting they take time to savor indulgent snacks. Many are also tuning into portion sizes, saying they take time to portion out snacks before eating them (61%) and check nutrition labels on snacks before buying them (68%).

Meanwhile, less than half (46%) say they feel guilty when enjoying an indulgent snack or treat.

Snacking offers an important opportunity to connect with others, with 7 in 10 confirming, “sharing snacks with others is my love language.” This trend of regularly sitting down to enjoy snacks with loved ones is especially strong among households in India and Mexico.“Today’s consumer is more conscious than ever about their consumption—and that includes health and well-being, as well as the impact on the planet,” said Martin Renaud, chief marketing and sales officer at Mondelēz International.

Consumers are very focused on how their snacking choices impact the environment, and they recognize that both companies and consumers play key roles in sustainable snacking. Sixty-three percent of consumers agree that snacks with a higher environmental impact should cost more, especially millennials (70%) and Gen Z (69%). Sixty-four percent are willing to pay more for snacks that are better for the environment, and 65% would pay more for snacks with ethically sourced ingredients.

The report also found that consumers are snacking:

Daily: 71% of consumers snack at least twice a day.

Frequently: Consumers are increasingly replacing meals with snacks, with 55% reporting a higher likelihood to eat a snack across all three standard mealtimes.

Sustainably: Reducing waste is a top priority, with 7 in 10 consumers saying they prioritize snacks that have less packaging and 72% saying they typically recycle it.

According to NACS State of the Industry data, salty snacks accounted for 4.36% of inside sales in convenience stores in 2021, an increase of 0.24 points from 2020, while gross margins for the category were 40.83%, nearly a point (0.93) higher than 2020. Learn more about how salty snacks fared in 2021 in the NACS State of the Industry Report of 2021 Data.

Read in NACS Daily what pandemic snack and drink habits are sticking around.

From liquor to lemonade and franks to fries, check out the NACS I Impact 21 Certified Convenience Basic and Advanced Category Management Curriculum. These online training programs teach and certify category management professionals who are new to the convenience retailing channel or are seasoned professionals looking to learn the latest in thought leadership, practices of category management and shopper marketing.