Fintan McConnell, Product Manager, explores one of the biggest trends during lockdown.
Looking back over the last few months, one trend in food that has been significant is the increase in snacking. It is understandable that with limits being placed on eating out and the stress associated with Covid-19 that many consumers have been reaching for comfort foods.
Increases in snacking
From salty to sweet treats, sales of cookies, chocolate, crisps as well as crackers, among other treats have seen significant growth. Mondelez’s state of snacking report, (released 2nd November 2020) has highlighted some particularly interesting trends;
“9 in 10 global adults (88%) say they are snacking more”, “millennials and those who are working from home right now being especially likely to say they prefer snacks over meals (70% and 67%, respectively). A majority expect this trend to continue, saying they plan to continue eating small snacks throughout the day, as opposed to fewer large meals (64%), and that snacking will be part of their “new normal” even after the pandemic ends (58%).”
In Ireland, University College Dublin also carried out research which is reported in The National COVID-19 Food Study. In this report, 42% of respondents based in Ireland, agreed that they were eating more snacks. The biggest age group that were the most effected was in the 25-44 years group. Though not the same high percentages as Mondelez’s report, it still highlights a pretty large increase in consumption habits. However, it needs to be taken into account that the research was conducted from 24th April till 25th May 2020. Meaning if the same questionnaire was conducted more recently there could be significantly different results, due to the pandemic continuing. I suspect that the snacking percentage would probably increase. More than likely being closer to Mondelez’s report which came out 2nd of November.
The new normal?
It is particularly interesting to see that the majority of those surveyed in Mondelez’s report, stated that they prefer snacks over meals. In addition, that a majority agreed that snacking will be a new normal even after the pandemic ends. Considering that many snacks are often not the healthiest of choices. This could mean that to continue the trend long term that the manufacturers of snack foods may need to look at developing new products that have health benefits. In fact, Mondelez’s survey states that “more than half of global adults have relied on snacks for nourishment during the pandemic (54%)”. Snack manufacturers that provide healthier as well as more nutritious snacks could take advantage of this behavioural shift. Even once the current global pandemic ends. Reducing or replacing sugar, salt as well as fat in snack products could be a way of capitalising on this consumer trend.
Can we help?
At NCC Food ingredients we work directly with food producers from reformulation right through to new product development. If you are seeking to replace sugar, salt or fat in your food or drink products, then we can assist. We have the experience and expertise to provide guidance when it comes to getting your product consumer ready.
NCC Food ingredients are an award-winning sourcing provider of functional and innovative ingredients. We recently won Ingredients Supplier of the Year. Our customer base ranges from international producers of foods and beverages to small niche artisan creators of fine foods. For further information fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.