This is the last in our blog series on Millennial Snacking Habits. We have explored general trends, the segment within the Millennial segment seeking healthy snacks, the dollars behind that trend and the mini-meal trend. The key question for marketers and product development experts is the “why” of it all. Why do Millennials snack? The answers are unique and give us a glimpse into the future of snacking.
From the research, the overall response of Millennials is that they snack to save money and time.
About one in five (men and women) say they snack because they are too busy to eat meals.
This is not a remark we should casually toss aside; it may portend shifts in eating behaviors in the years to come. Therefore, snacks that are easy to prepare or ready-made will potentially have a much greater impact on this generation. Again, it is important to note that this demographic craves healthy foods. Snacks that can be quickly made but are organic, higher in protein and fiber and supplemented with vitamins and minerals need to be explored.
According to our research, slightly less than one in six men and women aged 18-34 (16%) snack because it’s less expensive than purchasing a meal. They also state they might snack prior to dining out to save money as well. This could signal a new category in the future of healthy “snack appetizers.” While money is often tight among this demographic, we can’t but help to wonder what will happen when these behaviors become fully ingrained.
Thirty-four (34) percent of Millennial males snack before working out to fuel activity as do 33 percent of 18-34 year old females, making them the highest “sports snackers” in any age category. This may mark an entire trend of “Pre-Workout Mini-Meals.”
About 42 percent of younger “snackers” within the Millennial category, those aged 18-24, are most likely to snack while at home. However, 35 percent indicate they’re likely to try a new snack while away from home. Furthermore 34 percent of this group is more likely to stop at a convenience store to try a new snack.
However this leads to the question of “what?”
It is first interesting to say that Millennials, both male and female, said that they snacked to satisfy a craving; about 66 percent. What did they crave? They scored the highest of any age group in purchases of cereal bars and snack bars at 37 percent. They also scored the highest (32%) in salty snacks such as popcorn, chips and nuts, but other categories are consistent and telling. Compared to other generations, Millennials scored higher in snacking on fruits and vegetables, cheese, yogurt, soups and cereals.
Though Millennials like their ice cream and cake indulgences, the themes that have been consistently shown themselves are the desire of this generation to snack healthier and with more variety.