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Americas: More Millennials have snacks as meals, report

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Most American Millennial snackers eat a snack in place of a standard meal at least once a week, a new survey reveals.

Researchers in the US questioned snackers between the ages of 18 and 35 about their snacking habits and preferences.

When asked how often they eat a snack instead of having breakfast, lunch or dinner, 92% of them said they do so a minimum of once a week.

Furthermore, half of the respondents said they replace a meal with a snack at least four times a week, while more than a quarter (26%) said they do so at least seven times a week.

The online survey of 300 male and female American Millennials who snack regularly was commissioned by Welch’s Global Ingredients Group, the supplier of FruitWorx real fruit pieces and powders.

The survey was conducted in January 2017 by independent market research company Surveygoo.

The findings shed light on the true scale of the ‘snackification’ of mealtimes among Millennial snackers, an often-reported but rarely measured phenomenon.

This trend could be a reflection of American Millennial snackers’ busy lives.

They are snacking both at home and on the go, with 48% of Millennial snackers consuming snacks at work and 34% in the car.

When asked why they snack, 39% of Millennial snackers said they do so when they are too busy to eat a proper sit-down meal, while 17% admitted to doing so when they ‘can’t be bothered to cook a meal’.

On the choice of snack, respondents listed taste (80%), nutrition and health (52%) and convenience (49%) as most important criteria.

They also said they are looking for whole food ingredients, such as wholegrains (43%), real fruit (42%) and nuts (39%).

Besides valuing real fruit, American Millennials who snack also prefer to know the origin of the fruit in their snacks.

In total, 68% of survey respondents said it was important for them to know where the ingredients in their snacks, including the fruit, had come from.