‘Frenzied lifestyles’ prompt US consumers to snack more than ever, report

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Snack food Meal

US consumers are snacking more than ever, thanks to less frequent restaurant dining, “frenzied lifestyles” that encourage on-the-go eating and a tendency to replace meals with several smaller snacks, according to a new report from Packaged Facts.

In 'Snack Foods in the US (4th Edition)', Packaged Facts predicts US retail sales of packaged snacks will rise from $64bn in 2010 to $77bn in 2015 as the boundaries between meals and snacks continue to blur.

"The children of today, comfortable with replacing entire meals with snacks, will pass these lifestyle traits on to their children, ensuring that snacking will remain a big part of American life."

Healthy snacking on the rise

But this was not necessarily a disaster for the nation's health, said research director David Sprinkle.

"As consumers seek ways to achieve a healthier lifestyle, snack foods that are marketed as "better for you" will remain popular. Companies are realizing that they must highlight attributes such as vitamins, minerals, fiber content and lower sodium to both educate consumers and take advantage of demand for such products.

"At the same time, with the ever-growing abundance of "better-for-you" snack products, marketers must also offer secondary appeals to attract consumers, such as unique flavors or ingredient blends, with great taste as a given."

US retail sales of packaged snacks topped $64bn in 2010, up from $56bn in 2006, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3 percent. However, annual growth rates are expected to rise to 3.5% in 2011 and 4% in 2013, with the market expected to clock up sales of $77bn by 2015, predicts Packaged Facts.

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