Blurred Lines Between Meal and Snack Foods Will Drive Growth of Better-For-You Snack Foods Over Next Five Years, Finds NPD

Chicago, August 25, 2014 — U.S. consumers are eating traditional snack foods, particularly snacks with a perceived health benefit, in between and at meals, and this behavior will drive the growth of snack foods eaten at main meals over next five years, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company.  A recent NPD food and beverage market research study forecast shows that snack foods eaten at main meals will grow approximately 5 percent over the next five years or to 86.4 billion eatings in 2018.

The strongest growth of snack foods eaten at meals will be in the better-for-you categories, like refrigerated yogurt, bars, and fresh fruit, which consumers perceive as more healthful and convenient and are more prone to eating between and at meals, according to NPD’s recently released The Future of Eating: Who’s Eating What in 2018?. Ready-to-eat sweetened snack foods and desserts, which consumers are less likely to eat at main meals, will be flat in the next five years.

“The growth in better-for-you snack foods in between and at meals is a good example of how consumers are redefining the foods they eat, and how the traditional lines between snack foods and main meal foods are blurring,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “Consumers clearly associate certain times of day with main meals and between meal occasions but what they are eating at those occasions is changing.” 

Millennials, ages 24-37, Generation X, ages 38-48, and Generation Z, ages 0-23, are driving much of the growth in better-for-you snack food consumption between and at meals. Their positive attitudes about snacking, desire to eat more healthfully, and need for convenience are among the reasons for the growth in this category.

“Food marketers and retailers can capitalize on the growing interest in better-for-you snack foods but it may require a paradigm shift,” says Seifer. “It’s key to focus on providing convenience and addressing the needs that these foods meet rather than positioning foods in the pre-defined buckets of snacks or main meal foods.”


Related Press Releases

What’s Life Stage Versus Generational Behavior When It Comes to Dinner Planning? Millennials Are Showing Us The Difference.
What’s Life Stage Versus Generational Behavior When It Comes to Dinner Planning? Millennials Are Showing Us The Difference.

It’s a common oversight not to age generations or recognize how life stage can impact behavior. To understand the difference between generational and life stage behaviors enables food companies and foodservice operators to develop products and marketing messages that are more relevant to their target consumer audiences.

U.S. Consumers Are Increasingly Eating and Preparing Their Meals At Home Often With The Help Of Foodservice
U.S. Consumers Are Increasingly Eating and Preparing Their Meals At Home Often With The Help Of Foodservice

Four out of five meals in the US are prepared at home, more at home meals than a decade ago, says The NPD Group. Consumers do look for shortcuts, close to half of dinners bought from a restaurant are eaten at home and a growing number of in-home meals are a blend of dishes prepared and items bought from a foodservice.

Amazon Whole Foods First Year As A Duo Accelerates Consumers Online Migration
Amazon Whole Foods First Year As A Duo Accelerates Consumers Online Migration

It has been a year since Amazon announced it was buying Whole Foods, and all of the focus and incentives for grocery shopping online offered by national grocery chains in response to the Amazon Whole Foods acquisition accelerated consumers’ adoption of online grocery shopping, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company.

The Future of Dinner in America Will Reflect Past Traditions But With Modern Twists
The Future of Dinner in America Will Reflect Past Traditions But With Modern Twists

The tradition of eating dinner at home together has stood the test of time and will continue over the next five years but with a lot of modern twists, finds the recently released Future of Dinner study by The NPD Group, a leading global information company.

Want more?

Complete this form to hear from NPD.


Newsletter

Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice.

Follow Us

© The NPD Group, Inc.