- According to the State of the Industry Report of Snack World magazine of May 2013, Americans are more willing to spend their money on snacks today than they ever did before. The current modern lifestyle has culminated in a time-pressed consumer whose only concern is convenience (Gatty, 14). This need has triggered competition among the industry players bringing with it both opportunities and challenges. The 2013 State of The Snack Industry Report indicated that dollar stores have gained ground with 2.3% higher sales in 2012 compared to 2011.Snacking frequency is also on the rise because consumers regard snacks as mini-meals. The report also noted that the number of consumers who snacked three or four times a day increased by more than one tenth from 2010 to 2013.These trends indicate that there are opportunities for growth and profitability in this industry. The power of brands also played a major role in the purchasing decision of a consumer. Over three fifths of consumers surveyed said they considered brand of choice to be an important factor in addition to the price.
- It is indeed true that more and more consumers prefer snacks that add value to their health as opposed to snacks that cause diseases. According to a survey done by SymphonyIRI (Gatty, 15), the 2013 State of The Snack Industry report says that over half of American consumers want snacks that prevent or manage health problems. Close to half of the consumers wanted snacks that offer more than basic nutrition while a third of them view snacks as part of an important healthy eating plan (Willsky, 2014). In the recent past, consumers have been concerned with their health especially with the emergence of new lifestyle diseases. This has encouraged people to be very selective on the type of food they eat. This situation has led to the emergence of a new category of snacks that incorporates the issues of health into their ingredients. Snacks with amazing therapeutic powers have emerged and the industry needs to come up with ways in which to tap this growing niche of customers.
- The 2013 State of the Snack report brought forth some surprising trends in the general behavior of American snack consumers. It showed that consumers now prefer snacks that bring health value and ones that are affordable to them. The report indicates how many people are currently finding it difficult to make ends meet. About a quarter of consumers reported that they had trouble affording groceries while slightly over half say that they have reduced on their spending within the last six months. This particular trend should send signals to snack manufacturers to come up with not only low cost snacks but also those that are affordable. There is also concern about the type of food children take now days. A major shift has to be made in the quality of foods our children take especially at school to ensure that they have a more balanced meal. There is a general rise in snacking among U.S. children. National Surveys of food intake among children in the U.S. shows that there has been an increase in snacking among children. Trends in snacking among children indicate a daily intake of three snacks per day. There are also indications that show that almost a third of American children’s calories come from snacks (Piernas, C. & Popkin, B).
Gatty, B. Snack Wars.2013 State of The Industry Report. (2013,May).
Piernas, C. & Popkin, B. Trends in snacking among U.S. children. Retrieved from http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/29/3/398.full (2014).
Snack Food Association.2013 State of the Industry Report. Retrieved from (http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/sw/2013_05_01/index.php?startid=3#/0
Snack Food Association http://www.sfa.org
Willsky, K. Why Juicing and Smoothies Aren’t Just a Fad. Retrieved from http://www.wellnesstoday.com/recipes/why-juicing-and-smoothies-aren-t-just-a-fad