In the report, entitled “A Look into The Future of Eating”, the market research organization predicts that the frequency with which Americans snack at home will increase by 19 percent over the next ten years. Morning snacking will increase at a particularly rapid rate, it predicts, to rise 23 percent by 2018, while it says snacking in the afternoon will increase by 20 percent and in the evening by 15 percent.
The report’s author and director of product development at NPD Ann Hanson said: “The strong projected growth in snacking is both a reflection of the growth in new types of snack foods as well as an evolution of how consumers eat. Many consumers are eating ‘on the go’ and there are more and more foods available to meet this need.”
In terms of what types of snacks people are eating, a spokesperson for NPD told FoodNavigator-USA.com: “In terms of snacking, the food groups most frequently eaten as snacks are more mini, end dish meals, such as refrigerated foods, ready-to-eat foods, and easy-to-prepare homemade foods.”
NPD is not alone in predicting higher levels of snacking in the future. Packaged Facts has also released a new report detailing the snacking habits of Americans, in which it forecast the value of the snack foods market to grow by 20 percent, from $68bn in 2008 to nearly $82bn by 2013.
How forecasts work
NPD said that its predictions are based on three separate components: How behavior changes with aging; population growth and distribution by age; and “trend momentum”, or how behavior in relation to a specific trend has developed in recent years. It then takes into account behavioral patterns to do with age and generation, which it said can be used to develop targeted marketing strategies for various food products.