On-the-go and workplace eating drives snacking

“The snacking occasion is experiencing a renewed vitality,” says global research company, the NPD Group.

Snacking has long been a daily part of Aussies’ lives, but had flagged as a category in recent years.

But this changed in 2015, when the category began to bounce back.

In 2017, the snacking foodservice sector experienced traffic growth of 25.2 million. Now, according to the NPD Group’s ‘CREST Report’, the snacking category is worth $7 billion.

Time-poor but choosier

NPD Group says the rise of the snacking occasion probably comes from today’s lifestyles. “It’s an occasion that is associated with time-poor and working consumers, with on-the-go and workplace consumption leading the snacking charge,” according to a company statement.

But tastes and habits are changing, the ‘CREST Report’ suggests. Consumers are becoming choosier and looking for Australian grown and owned (29 per cent), local ingredients (20 per cent), and no additives such as hormones (18 per cent).

“The Australian snacking category is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance,” NPD Deputy Managing Director Asia Pacific Gimantha Jayasinghe said. “However, what snacking means to the consumer, and why they are snacking more, have now evolved.”

Price no longer the only motivation

Mr Jayasinghe added: “The popularity of burger and meat products, especially in the afternoon and evening snacking occasion, has given rise to attributes based on provenance and ‘clean-eating’.

“Thus, the quality of the meat and the overall standard of each burger element has grown from demand. Consumers are on the lookout for good price and convenience, with a lot of food variety and great quality. Price is no longer the only motivation.

“Australians are relying more and more on snacks for nourishment and fuel, not just to curb those afternoon hunger pangs. As consumers seek more nutrient-rich offerings, snacks are an ideal vehicle to deliver healthy choices to those that are pressed for time.

“Snack manufacturers should really take notice of what the category customer is demanding in order to grow along with the sector and meet demand.”

52 times a year

Snacking – defined as the morning, afternoon and evening ‘dayparts’ in between classic meal times – currently holds 26 per cent of foodservice-traffic share. The average Australian indulges in the snacking industry 52 times per year.

The QSR channel makes up the majority of snacking visits (70 per cent). The coffee and burger channels make up a significant amount of this traffic.

The supermarket channel holds 12 per cent of snacking visits, followed by FSR (10 per cent) and convenience-store visits (eight per cent).

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