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A growing number of consumers are moving away from the traditional way of eating and are opting for more frequent healthier options. The unspoken rule of eating three-square meals per day is now passé. Industry experts reckon that millennials and Generation Z snack four times a day, baby boomers twice and the Silent Generation once. In an effort to meet their nutritional needs, consumers are opting for snacks that allow them to eat on-the-go.

The History of Snacking

America experienced a snacking boom between the years 1950 and 2000 when manufacturers increased production of packaged snacks to satisfy the salt, fat and sugar cravings of consumers. Lifestyles of dual-income families increased demands for fast food meals so during the 1980s snacking became an ordinary way of life. The stereotype of snacks being an unhealthy alternative to eating traditional meals started to fade in recent years as they’ve transitioned from standard options, like fried potato chips high in calories and fat, to healthier replacements that are organic, vegan or gluten-free. Major brands like PepsiCo, Hershey, Campbell Soup, Mondelez and Hormel Foods have even introduced 100-calorie snack packs to provide consumers with healthier, smaller and more convenient food options.

The Convenience of Snacking

From yogurt, nuts and energy bars to candy bars, chips and cookies, shoppers are choosing to eat smaller portions at times that are most convenient to their schedules. Since it’s been estimated that consumers are eating about four to five snack foods a day, CPG companies are looking to capitalize on this growing demand by ensuring that snacks are easier than ever to find. If a consumer feels hungry, then all they have to do is visit their local grocery stores, convenience stores, club stores, pharmacies and vending machines for a snack. Providing shoppers with widespread availability is essential to the success of CPG companies because it promotes impromptu buying decisions that can be made anywhere. Companies will also need to focus on marketing products that have sourced ingredients in order to stay competitive. Instead of purchasing snacks for the purpose of indulging, consumers are opting for healthy options, like bars and pre-sliced fruit, that not only replenish their energy after a workout but are also good for you too!

 

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