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Consumers Prioritize Snacking Despite Economic Environment

More than three-quarters of consumers regularly snack to reward themselves and for a sense of comfort.
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CHICAGO — Despite rising costs and economic challenges, consumers continue to prioritize snacking.

Approximately 71 percent of consumers snack at least twice a day, according to the findings of Mondelēz International's fourth annual State of Snacking report. The global consumer trends study examines annual insights on how consumers make snacking decisions.

Developed in partnership with The Harris Poll, the report tracks snacking attitudes and behaviors among thousands of consumers surveyed across 12 countries. In addition to snacking daily, consumers globally agree that they are snacking:

  • Mindfully — Seventy-eight percent of consumers say they take time to savor indulgent snacks and 61 percent saying they take time to portion out snacks before eating them.
  • Frequently — Consumers are increasingly replacing meals with snacks, with 55 percent reporting a higher likelihood to eat a snack across all three standard mealtimes.
  • Sustainably — Reducing waste is a top priority, with seven in 10 consumers saying they prioritize snacks that have less packaging and 72 percent saying they typically recycle it.

The survey demonstrates that consumers are looking for snacks to meet different needs in their lives. More than three-quarters (78 percent) say they regularly snack to reward themselves and for a sense of comfort (77 percent). An overwhelming majority of millennials (85 percent) cited both of these reasons.

Given the current economic environment, 67 percent of survey respondents say they would buy fewer of their favorite snack brands rather than generic alternatives, regardless of cost.

"Our State of Snacking report confirms that in these trying times, consumers around the world view their favorite snacks as affordable and necessary indulgences," said Dirk Van de Put, chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International. "Snacking continues to be a way for consumers to connect or to enjoy a moment of delight in their day, further demonstrating our belief that every snack can be enjoyed in a mindful way."

Taking a deeper dive into the report's key insights, here's what macro trends are impacting consumers' snacking decisions:

Mindful Snacking

  • Consumers are making an effort to be mindful and present while snacking, with 78 percent stating they take time to savor indulgent snacks.
  • Sixty-one percent of consumers take time to portion out snacks before eating them and check nutrition labels on snacks before buying them (68 percent).
  • Less than half (46 percent) of respondents say they feel guilty when enjoying an indulgent snack or treat.

Staying Connected

  • Snacking offers an important opportunity to connect with others, with seven in 10 confirming, "Sharing snacks with others is my love language."
  • The trend of regularly sitting down to enjoy snacks with loved ones is especially strong among households in India and Mexico.

Environmental Impact

  • Consumers are very focused on how their snacking choices impact the environment, saying they recognize that both companies and consumers play key roles in sustainable snacking.
  • Sixty-three percent of consumers agree that snacks with a higher environmental impact should cost more, especially millennials (70 percent) and Generation Z (69 percent).
  • Sixty-four percent of consumers are willing to pay more for snacks that are better for the environment and 65 percent would pay more for snacks with ethically sourced ingredients.

"Today's consumer is more conscious than ever about their consumption — and that includes health and well-being, as well as the impact on the planet," said Martin Renaud, chief marketing and sales officer at Mondelēz International. "The findings of this report continue to help inform our strategy as a global snacking leader with a focus on chocolate and biscuits and a commitment to mindful and sustainable snacking."

More information on the fourth annual State of Snacking report is available here.

Chicago-based Mondelēz International's global and local brands portfolio includes Oreo, belVita and LU biscuits; Cadbury Dairy Milk, Milka and Toblerone chocolate; Sour Patch Kids candy; and Clif Bar.

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