Circana: Almost Half of Americans Eat Three or More Snacks Per Day

Flavor and taste remain top of mind for consumers.

May 20, 2024

Consumer insights firm Circana released new data on the $214 billion snack market, with 46% of Americans reporting they eat three or more snacks per day.

Flavor and taste are top drivers for consumers when choosing a snack, with 83% of consumers reporting they choose snacks that have a flavor they prefer. Consumers also remain loyal to familiar products and brands they like.

“As consumer behaviors continue to evolve, it’s crucial for brands to innovate and differentiate themselves in the competitive snack market,” said Sally Lyons Wyatt, global executive vice president and chief advisor of Consumer Goods & Foodservice Insights at Circana. “By understanding trends, such as the increasing demand for indulgent offerings as a temporary escape from daily stressors, the rise of snacking as a meal replacement due to busy lifestyles, the need for better-for-you snacks to assist with daily nutrition, and the importance of on-the-go convenience, brands can effectively tailor their offerings to help consumers find the right balance and meet their evolving needs.”

Brands can connect with consumers during their screen time, during which a lot of snacking occurs. “As 34% of consumers turn to social media to discover new snack foods and trends, snack brands have a prime opportunity to engage and form deeper connections with their target audiences. With 20.2% of eating occasions occurring while watching TV programs, it’s evident that screen time has become intertwined with snacking routines,” said Circana.

Darren Seifer, industry advisor for Consumer Goods & Foodservice Insights at Circana, noted, “Brands that prioritize the optimization of their price pack architecture, streamline their supply chain, and leverage loyalty programs are poised to not only meet but exceed evolving consumer demands. By focusing on these strategic imperatives, brands can cultivate stronger relationships with their customers, driving sustained growth and long-term success in the ever-changing snack market.”

For more from Circana on the evolution of snacks, keep your eye out for our upcoming NACS Magazine June issue feature “Daypart Disruption,” featuring David Portalatin, senior vice president and industry advisor, Food and Foodservice, on how consumer mealtimes are changing buying habits.