Indulgent Snack Food Is Making a Comeback
CHICAGO — Consumers are giving themselves permission to enjoy indulgent snacks due to the wellness-driven acknowledgement that balance is key.
According to the NPD Group's Future of Snacking, permissible snack indulgence for most consumers tends to be later in the day, either as a dinner or late evening snack. However, indulgence has been growing in the morning whereas midday and dinnertime indulgent snacking has been declining or flat.
Because breakfast tends to be an on-the-go behavior and snack foods offer the speed and portability needed in the morning, the trend is permissible, NPD said.
"The role of snack food is changing in different ways in reaction to Americans' desire for balance, portable snack foods, and holistic wellness," said David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. "It's no longer about depriving yourself of something you enjoy eating. Today it's about giving yourself permission to eat indulgent snack foods in moderation."
Overall, snack food eating occasions driven by a need for favorites, cravings or the need to reward oneself — which typically involve the more indulgent snack foods — will continue to grow over the next five years.
Consumers over the age of 40, including Gen Xers and younger baby boomers, will drive growth in snacks like nuts and seeds, cereal bars, toaster pastry and meat snacks, while older baby boomers are going for it with higher consumption of chocolate candy, frozen novelties and ice cream.
"A wide range of savory, sweet, and better-for-you snack foods are now permissible in almost any situation. Snack food manufacturers have figured out ways to offer the permission to enjoy," Portalatin points out.
More information on the Future of Snacking is available here.