Taste Reigns Supreme When It Comes to Snacking

A new survey explores when and why consumers snack.

NATIONAL REPORT — A new poll of American shoppers on their snacking habits revealed that consumers will snack frequently and for a variety of reasons, with 72 percent rating flavor as the most important quality they’re looking for in a snack item.

The survey's data comes via 84.51°, a Cincinnati-based retail data science company. The poll covered a wide range of topics on the nature of snacking, including the amount of snacking per day, and snack and quality preferences.

[Read More: Consumers Rank Important Components of the 'Perfect' Snack]

Overall, the company found younger consumers snack the most frequently with 74 percent of those under 35 years old snacking at least a few times per day. Fifty-six percent snack all year round, but colder months warrant the most snacking behavior, with 34 percent of consumers saying they snack most during the winter. Sixty percent claim they snack the same throughout the week and 28 percent snack more on the weekend.

Survey results showed fruits, cookies, yogurt, vegetables and granola bars are especially popular with households with children. Other popular snacks include, among others:

  • Potato chips (69 percent)
  • Cheeses (67 percent)
  • Crackers (67 percent)
  • Popcorn (58 percent)
  • Nuts (55 percent)
  • Chocolate (54 percent)
  • Tortilla chips (53 percent)
  • Candy (44 percent)
  • Pretzels (40 percent)

Sixty-two percent also snack to fulfill a craving, while 42 percent claim to snack to accompany an activity like reading or watching TV. In addition to taste, the most important factors to consumers when looking for a snack are:

  • Fulfills a craving (62 percent)
  • Curbs the appetite (48 percent)
  • Convenience (44 percent)

In terms of purchasing habits, 67 percent of consumers purchase snacks in bulk (especially among households with kids) and tend to look for ways to save, with many shoppers willing to trade down to less expensive snack options.

Snackers between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most willing to try new snacks (60 percent), and may decide to try new snacks depending on if they're on sale, if the flavor is appealing or if a friend suggested they try it.

84.51° is a retail data science, insights and media company that assists consumer packaged goods companies, agencies, publishers and affiliated partners create personalized and valuable experiences for shoppers through the utilization of first-party retail data.