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Retail Intelligence

Half Of All Adults Snack Between Meals At Least Once A Day

According to the latest research conducted by Empathy Research on behalf of Retail Intelligence, snacking in-between main meals is widely prevalent amongst the adult population with half (50%) of all adults claiming to snack between meals once a day or more often. The research also found that just under a quarter (23%) of adults claiming to snack several times per day.

Interestingly, the dynamic is changing somewhat in terms of what is being consumed when snacking. Almost 3 in 10 (28%) adults claim they have changed the types of food they are snacking on over the past year. Biggest increases in types of food being used for snacks are fresh fruit (41%), nuts/seeds (19%) and foods high in protein (18%). These three types of food point to a healthier focus on snacking with a further indication evident in the type of food being consumed less often in snacking, where sweets (41%), crisps (37%) and chocolate (33%) all record reductions in snacking frequency.

Snacking is most prevalent after dinner or the main evening meal, where some 4 in 10 (42%) claim they would typically snack at this time. Mid-afternoon is also a key time for snacking, with just over a third (34%) of adults claiming to snack then. Just over 1 in 8 (13%) adults are snacking throughout the day. However, in spite of a reduction in overall consumption of chocolate and crisps in general snacking, these two food types are most prevalent in after dinner snacking, suggesting some form of reward after a long day.

It appears that there is some work to do for retailers in this healthy snacking space, while there is an acknowledgement that it is easier now to snack on healthier food than it used to be (73% agreeing), almost 7 in 10 (68%) agree that retailers could do more to make snacking on healthier foods easier.

For more information on this topic, specifically looking at how food used for snacking changes across the day, as well as profiling on who has changed their snacking behaviour and which foods they are consuming, please contact Robbie Clarke at Empathy Research.

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