While consumers may be growing more health-conscious with their food choices, it seems there is still room for life’s little indulgences. According to new international research on snacking motivation from Mintel, Americans cited treating themselves as the top reason to snack (50%), and more than one-quarter (28%) agreed that taste is more important than health when choosing a snack.
But that’s not to say health claims are no longer a critical component of which snacks actually fall into the shopping basket. Consumers increasingly want an indulgence that’s healthy, too.
Despite that propensity to indulge, health continues to play a critical role in the types of snacks consumers eat. One-third (32%) of consumers said the majority of snacks they eat are healthy, and more than one-quarter (28%) said they are snacking on healthier foods this year than in 2016.
Snacks with health-related claims are among the fastest-growing snack launches, with low-, no- or reduced-allergen claims accounting for 46% of total new snack product launches in the United States in 2017, an increase of 30% over 2013, according to Mintel Global New Products Database.
“The importance of snacking in America is undeniable, and it is creating more and more opportunity for companies and brands as snacking frequency increases, particularly among younger consumers,” noted Beth Bloom, associate director of U.S. food and drink reports at Mintel. “While health is a factor for consideration in food and drink decisions, the majority of snackers do so for a treat, meaning even health-focused snacks should appeal [to consumers] with messages about enjoyment and indulgence.”