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NPD Highlights the When & Where of Snacking

CHICAGO — Consumers' tastes for sweet and savory snacks is determined by the time of day, while better-for-you snack consumption can be predicted more by place, according to The NPD Group's Snacking in America report.

An average day starts out healthy with better-for-you snacks that are typically consumed throughout the day depending on location (i.e., carried from home and eaten at school, work or in the car), while savory snack consumption picks up at mid-day, and the desire for sweet snacks is stronger in the evening, NPD found.

"All snack foods are not treated equally by consumers depending on the time of day," stated Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst for NPD. "Marketers of snack food products need to communicate with consumers based on daypart, while better-for-you snack marketers need to be more focused on location, as in-home vs. away from home."

The seasons also have an effect on snack food preferences. Sweet snack consumption spikes in November when consumers are eating their treats from Halloween; better-for-you snacking decreases in November and December; and savory snacking reaches its peak in December and January.

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