Mondelēz International’s annual ‘State of Snacking’ report is a global consumer trends study examining the role of snacking in consumers’ lives around the world. The 2020 report reveals proprietary insights and data around changing consumer behaviors, including eating habits, shopping trends, and the rising importance of mindful consumption of snacks throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
The State of Snacking report, developed in partnership with consumer polling specialist The Harris Poll, confirms and complements Mondelēz International’s proprietary, global snacking insights with bespoke research conducted among thousands of consumers across twelve countries with the intent to understand better the role that is snacking plays in peoples’ lives. The report informs the company’s strategy to bite into the US $1.2 trillion total snack industry. It continues to lead the future of snacking by delivering the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way.
The 2020 State of Snacking Report underlines the growth in snacking worldwide and how Covid-19 reshapes behavior, sentiment, and routines surrounding food. The report summarizes as follows:
The pandemic has accelerated the global growth of snacking
Snacking worldwide, which was already a rapidly increasing behavior, has only accelerated as consumers spend more time at home. At the same time, most respondents see snacking as a growing part of their everyday lives in the future.
9 in 10 global adults (88%) say they are snacking more (46%) or the same (42%) during the pandemic than before it, with millennials and those who are working from home right now being especially likely to say they prefer snacks over meals (70% and 67%, respectively). A majority expect this trend to continue, saying they plan to continue eating small snacks throughout the day, as opposed to fewer large meals (64%), and that snacking will be part of their “new normal” even after the pandemic ends (58%). Ultimately, two-thirds believe “the current pandemic will have a long-term impact on how we consume snacks as a society” (65%).
Snacking as a source of comfort & community in isolating times
Consumers see snacking as an essential source of comfort, connection, and community, especially during the past year. Comfort is the #1 driver of snacking this year, as more than half have been buying nostalgic snack brands from childhood. (53%) and snacks that bring back good memories (59%) during the pandemic. Two-thirds say snack time is one of the few moments of peace (64%) and bright spots in their day (63%), including three-quarters of parents who are working from home (76% and 75%, respectively). Snacking has also been an antidote for loneliness and avenue for connection, as 3 in 4 global adults have done something to connect with others via food in the last six months (77%), such as making a snack together (40%), giving a snack as a gift (31%), or grocery shopping for someone who could not go themselves (29%).
As at-home snacking rises, so do appetites for mindfulness and wellbeing
Snacking also offers bite-sized moments of satisfaction and peace, with most respondents noting it has helped distract them from a trying year. As snacking increases, so too does the focus on healthy products and ingredients.
More than half of global adults have relied on snacks for nourishment during the pandemic (54%), attesting that snacks have been nourishing to their bodies, minds, and souls during these strange times (64%). A majority are also more mindful snacking at home, saying they are more focused on the snacks they eat these days (57%) and that they have more control over the portions they eat because they are snacking at home more often (66%).
Virtual snack shopping reaches a tipping point as now almost half buy online
Virtual snack shopping has reached a tipping point, with almost half of respondents buying online. Half of the global adults say they have started to buy snacks online more often than they do in-store or offline (47%), with 7 in 10 planning to continue shopping for snacks online once the pandemic is over (69%). A majority say the pandemic has opened their eyes to so many more ways to get snacks than they knew existed before (57%), including 3 in 10 who have discovered snacks to try on social media (28%).