What you need to know

The UK is a nation of snackers. 95% of adults report to snack, with a sizeable 66% of these doing this on a daily basis. The young are the biggest snackers, with both repertories of foods snacked on and frequencies rising in this age group. With an ageing population, keeping snacks on people’s menus even as they age remains a key challenge for the market.

Hunger is the biggest motivation driving people to snack and messages centred on combatting it remain relevant. However, snacking has evolved beyond this, with half of snackers not citing hunger as a reason to eat between meals. The importance of drivers such as cravings or wanting to treat oneself demonstrates the strong link snacking has with emotional needs, a link further underscored by the use of snacks as an antidote to the stress of our busy lifestyles.

Boding well for PHE’s current programmes for sugar and calorie reduction, there is marked openness among consumers to making indulgent snacks healthier. As well as controlling sugar, fat or calorie content, delivering positive nutritional benefits remains important for healthier snacks to win favour in an increasingly crowded market.

Products covered in this Report

This Report looks at consumers’ snacking habits, defined as eating between meals. The Report will look at snacking at home, elsewhere (eg at work) and on the go (eg when travelling), as well as consumers’ snacking motivations, preferences and their attitudes towards snacks.

Kids’ snacking habits are not covered in this Report, being discussed in Mintel’s Kids’ Snacking – UK, November 2018 Report and the upcoming Children’s Eating Habits – UK, June 2019 Report. However, references to kids’ snacking and snacks may be made where relevant.

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