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Mintel highlights U.S. snacking trends.

As Americans move away from traditional meal occasions and are snacking more throughout the day, consumers are seeking healthier snacking options. New research from Mintel showed that three in four (73%) consumers are willing to pay extra for snacks made with high quality ingredients. Further evidence of their desire for healthful foods, half (50%) of consumers say healthier snacks would motivate them to buy more from specialty snack shops.

With snacking now ubiquitous, more than three in five (64%) consumers agree that snacking is necessary to get through the day, including 77% of Millennial, who are the most likely generation to visit specialty snack shops (85% vs. 68% of consumers overall). And while 60% of Americans visit snack shops on a mission to treat themselves, Millennial are more likely to be motivated by healthy snack options (68%). What's more, an extra boost of energy is also a motivator for Millennial as two in five (38%) dine at snack shops for energy compared to one quarter (27%) of consumers overall.

Despite high levels of interest, specialty snack shops face stiff competition from retail: two in five (41%) consumers agree that packaged snacks from grocery stores are better than items from snack shops, including 63% of Millennials. Recognizable brands also play a role when choosing snacks, as seven in 10 (69%) consumers say snacks with branded ingredients prove to be higher quality than other snacks. Moreover, seven in 10 (71%) Millennial say snacks are best eaten while on the go, signaling the importance of efficient ordering processes at snack shops.

"Snacking is now a staple of the American diet, and as consumers snack more often, they are looking for healthier ways to indulge with high quality ingredients. By including healthier snacks on menus, shops can expand their appeal beyond Millennials, America's primary snacking generation," said Diana Kelter, foodservice analyst at Mintel. "Snack shops are in a great position to promote themselves both as a destination for the occasional treat and a quick stop for eating on the go. To further compete with the dominant retail snack market, specialty shops should have pre-packaged options available for consumers, as well as partner with recognized brands to offer branded snack fusions."

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Title Annotation:Industry News
Publication:Nutraceuticals World
Date:Oct 1, 2016
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