Do you get the snacking munchies? How often? When? What do you chow down?

According to recent research by Technomic:

“Snack consumption is on the rise, as half of today’s consumers (51 percent) say that they eat snacks at least twice a day, an increase from the 48 percent who said the same in 2012. And about a third of consumers (31 percent) told Technomic they’re snacking more frequently than they were just two years ago. Not only are consumers snacking more often, they’re broadening their definition of a ‘snack.’ These days, a wider range of foods—and beverages—are now viewed as snacks, and convenience stores and other retailers are sparking competition with restaurants in order to meet the growing demand.”

These are some of the other highlights from Technomic:

  • “Consumers eat snacks both between meals and as meal replacements: Nearly half of consumers (49 percent) eat snacks between meals and 45 percent replace one or two daily meals with a snack.”
  • “Forty-five percent of consumers who order snacks at restaurants order from the dollar or value menu.”
  • “Fifty percent of consumers indicate that healthfulness is very important to them when choosing a snack.”
  • “Portability is increasingly vital: 60 percent of today’s consumers, compared to 55 percent in 2012, cite portability as an important or extremely important factor when choosing a snack.”

Click the chart to read more.


21 Replies to “How Much of a Snacker Are You?”

  1. A lot of food we only eat for the meal time, only make during the meal time, or certain food only served in restaurants before are broadening as “snack”, which means people can enjoy them anytime they want them, and the channels they get those food can be supermarkets, groceries,24-hour open delis and more but not has to be a restaurant. Also the understanding of snack is different among people under different culture background. Like my landlord, she is an America, some food i made before to her is snack, but to me definitely are meal food.

  2. I snack all the time. I am always on the go so portability makes snacks very convenient. It’s easy to grab an apple or bag of chips in between classes. It’s quick, it’s cheap, it’s tasty, and it will hold you over until your next meal.

  3. I am not surprised at all with these findings. Especially as a college student, I often have classes during normal “meal” times. For me, grabbing a granola bar or a piece of fruit is about as good of a meal as I will get. Also, foods that as considered snacks instead of real meals are often easier, faster, and cheaper to consume. Personally, I would rather spend my time and money on a nice meal out every once in a while than on normal meals every day.

  4. I would have to say I fall in the majority as well. I often snack, I prefer healthy snacks, and I replace meals with multiple snacks which are portable. The fast paced life of today leaves many students and professionals with less time to enjoy a meal. In that case, it is normal to rely on snacks that you can pick up and go and eat at anytime while doing your work. Nutrition tends to become even more vital for such people who rely on their snacks to fuel them for the day.

  5. It is no surprise to me that there has been an increase in snack consumption. Especially for students who are in school all day, or professionals at work, it is difficult to find the time to fit in whole meals throughout the day. For people with busy schedules, it is more convenient to buy a snack than an actual meal if you are constantly on the go. This definitely affects restaurants who now have to face competition from convenience stores or other retailers in meeting this increasing demand.

    1. As a college student I am always usually in a hurry to get from practice to class. I never usually have time to eat a full meal so I will try to grab a snack to hold me over till my next class. I think portability is very important as sometimes I will just eat it on my walk to class or to the field. Also I look for inexpensive snacks as I’d rather spend more money on an actual meal. I think it’s genius that McDonald’s has a dollar menu its a smaller portion of food and for a cheap price that is served quickly which is perfect for a snack on the go. More food places should adapt that idea.

  6. I could definitely believe that snacking is more popular now than it was two years ago. I know I definitely have started replacing meals with snacks. I have an hour between when I get out of work in the morning to when I have to be in class, so I usually just grab a snack as breakfast instead of having a big, filling breakfast. Everyone is always so busy nowadays, and it’s hard to sit down and “waste time” ordering/making and then eating for each meal during the day. It has become easier to just grab a quick snack on the go and eat it in the car, at your desk, and in other convenient places.

  7. This study sounds about right to me. I like to snack on chips, with the occasional addition of hummus, while I watch tv or study. I personally do not replace meals with snacks, but do know of many people who do, due both to convenience, especially on campuses, a lack of much better options. On a side note, I would like to point out that this kind of snacking is not what would be referred to as “munchies”. Those are slightly different than just snacking.

  8. Personally I snack a lot but I make sure that all my meals basically qualify as snacks. I eat about 4-6 times a day and I try to keep my meals between 600-800 calories depending on the time of the year. I like Erin’s point about snacks being vital for a busy college student. I hope my “snack” of almonds and apples in class does not bother anyone!

    However I think snacking is an epidemic among a lot of overweight, unhealthy and obese people and it is especially alarming today because kids stay at home and play game on their iPads and game systems instead of playing real sports outside.

    I think the term “snack” is very loosely used in America and is increasingly being used the same way worldwide. When I went back to India for the holidays I saw (overweight) kids in the mall with PSPs “snacking” on McDonalds French fries which almost made me want to walk over to them and lecture them. I resisted doing so as I feel like I am a good 2-3 decades away from lecturing “youngins”.

  9. Personally, I snack a lot. While doing my work, I don’t feel like leaving for a hour to go get a meal. It takes longer, and if I’m on a role with my work I’d rather not leave it. I bring snacks, and replace meals with them because it is more convenient. And I pick my snack on what is easiest to fit into my backpack, and wont get smushed or ruined. I feel like people will gravitate to buying the candy because it is easy to eat, easy to throw away, and won’t get ruined by throwing it into a backpack. While fruit on the other hand will get smushed in your backpack, or leak in a container.

  10. I would say most people I know snack a lot, especially with late-night studying, getting hungry in class, etc. I don’t have many snacks in my room, basically trying to prevent myself from eating when I’m bored! But snacking can be healthy, since we’re supposed to eat about six small meals a day and not way too long in between meals. However, I prefer fruit as a snack, as opposed to chips or candy. But I can see why people who are rushing to class would grab a bag of m&m’s or something like that, since they’re convenient and easy to eat on the go. It’s pretty hard to find small, healthy snacks when you need something to keep you going until lunch or dinner, hopefully that changes!

  11. I do not snack that much. I feel like thats how people gain weight unless your eating healthy snacks (which most people do not) than you shouldn’t be eating at all. Three healthy meals and drink water. This is why most children have weight issues because they are eating lots of unhealthy snacks.

  12. I would have to say I’m a totally snacker. I took snacks especially at night, sometimes healthy sometimes not. I was supposed not to replace my meals with much little snacks. However, the schedule, life pace make me no choice. I shouldn’t have take some crackers, potato chips to replace meal. But what could I do? There’s no formal and good restaurant around school. Whenever my 6 pm class is about to begin, I always find no place to have a meal and take a rest. Young guys like us should focus more on the nutrition and ourselves, even though snacks make meals seems easy.

  13. I would say that I am definitely a snacker and fit into these percentages. I will replace breakfast and lunch with snacks than only eat dinner. I feel that snacks are just more easily to get and is just great when I am going to class. I am not going to sit in a class eating a whole meal when I can just buy a snack to munch on to fulfill my need. Sometimes it is out of the way to stop doing work or watching tv to go get a full meal and waste time when I can just run and get a snack and it is much easier.

  14. I agree with the broader definition of snacking. To maintain optimum sugar and energy levels, it is recommended to eat small meals throughout the day and not the traditional three larger meals. So, sometimes I snack a lot and do not actually eat. Especially when I both go to school and work. At that point my breakfast could be considered snack, I will eat fruit at about 11, a small soup (which I do not usually consider a meal) around 1, walnuts at 3 and then I might get dinner when I get home or a couple more snacks if I cannot have dinner. It keeps my energy up and I am never hungry. Also, I truly dislike cooking so “constant snaking” is ideal for me. I also do not yet make enough money to splurge on dining all the time, so I usually order appetizers at restaurants, especially for dinner when I am tired and cooking is just a worst-case-scenario for me.

  15. It seems that I belong to those 49% minority people. I do not eat snackers much because I am on a diet. Most of snackers are not healthy and contain lots of calories. However, if I choose to buy a snacker, I will use the snacker machine and eat them both between meals and as meal replacements, which is true. People love to eat snackers and love to use snackers machine maybe just because they are hungry, or feel a lot of pressure, sometimes eating can be a good way to relieve the pressure, that’s why snackers machine will make more profit in big city, commercial area, and busy district.

  16. With the development of food industry, snacks nowadays can be more delicious, healthier, and with a broader product line. Also compare with traditional fast food at the restaurant, snacks are more faster and convenient to eat. furthermore, the price of a snack usually lower than any other similar cooked-food. I’d say that is basically the core reason of the increasing demand toward snacks among recently.

  17. I believe that snacking is especially popular among our age group because it is often easier to just grab a snack instead of sitting down and having a meal. Today, people are busier and are involved in a lot of different things making it harder to sit down and have three meals a day. Snacking allows us to to grab and go and not waste time sitting and eating when we could be doing something else.

  18. I think snacking can be good and bad, I think of apples, protein shakes and almonds as “good snacking” or productive snacking” while i put fast food, candy, potato chips, sugary foods and other junk as /’bad snacking.”i hope that i can come up with a term to differentiate between the two.

  19. I have heard a lot of times that snacking can be healthy if done in the right way. Besides choosing a healthy snack, the amount is a key factor as well as the time of day. A lot of times I eat snacks really late at night because I am up late working, but that is not a great choice. Candy (at 71%) is the highest purchased snack according to the survey and it is most likely the least healthy snack as well. Nuts on the other hand (next in line at 62%) can be a great thing to eat to curve your appetite until you can get to a good meal if you choose the types that are better for you and with less salt.

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