Eating three square meals a day is fast falling out of fashion. The convenience trend continues to soar and increasingly busy lifestyles mean consumers are grabbing a bite wherever and whenever they can.
The result of all this is a booming snacks category. According to Statista, the Snack Food segment will achieve a global revenue of $63.8bn this year with an expected annual CAGR of 0.55% until 2027.
This is perhaps unsurprising, given the number of ‘snackers’ identified by YouGov in its most resent survey on consumer trends and preferences in snacking. According to the market research and data analytics firm, globally more than two in five consumers (45%) are ‘snackers’ – meaning they often snack in between meals.
Who is snacking?
However, snacking appears to be more common among certain populations than others. A survey of 2,000 adults in the UK, France, and Germany, revealed that Brits are the most likely to snack.
More than half of UK consumers (58%) said they often snack between meals. While a significant number, this figure is less than in the US, where an estimated 65% of consumers are considered ‘snackers’.
In Germany and France, the figures are lower still. Less than half of consumers in Germany (44%) and less than one-third (30%) in France say they often snack between meals.
A deep dive into consumer profiles offers greater insight into the ‘who’ of British snacking. According to the YouGov survey, UK ‘snackers’ are more likely to be young females with middle or low incomes.
“They admit they sometimes eat out of boredom and can treat themselves to food that is not good for them,” noted the market research firm.
Why snack? And on what?
YouGov’s survey of consumers across the US, UK, France and Germany suggests 53% of consumers snack to fulfil their hunger. A total of 46% said they want a snack that ‘keeps me going’.
While some consumers noted a preference for high-protein snacks, and others were interested in plant-based options, this didn’t necessarily come through in their snacks of choice.
In the UK, for example, the ‘snackers’ said their favourite snacks were chocolate bars: KitKat, Maltesers, Galaxy, Wispa, and Twix.
In France, there was greater diversity in their snacks of choice, which included biscuit, chocolate and dessert brands: LU, St Michel, Bonne Maman, Milka, and Kinda Bueno.
And over in Germany, confectionery also reigned: Haribo, Milka, Ritter Sport, Kinder Schokolade, and Lindt.