Mondelēz International’s third State of Snacking report reveals key consumer trend for wellbeing
pic by Mike Mitchell
A third annual State of Snacking report from Mondelēz International has confirmed a sustained global trend of consumers being increasingly focused on wellbeing, and are more mindful than ever of consumption levels, writes Neill Barston.
The company, which is behind major brands including Cadbury and Oreo, and Milka chocolate explored key sector areas, noting how shoppers are making their decisions about when and where they purchase confectionery and sweet treats.
According to its findings, the report confirms consumers prefer snacking as a regular eating behaviour over traditional mealtime for the third consecutive year (64 percent today, up 5 percent since inaugural findings reported in 2019).
Notably, the company found that trending preference for snacking spikes among younger generations, with 75 percent of Gen Z replacing at least one meal each day with a snack – with its results showing a greater willingness and interest in trying different ranges, amid an ever-expanding category.
As the business explained, its 2021 State of Snacking Report was developed in partnership with The Harris Poll, complements Mondelēz International’s robust, proprietary snacking insights – including macro trends informing the future of snacking – with new polling research conducted among thousands of consumers across 12 countries.
The company has responded to the trends for better for you product ranges over the past few years, with Confectionery Production previously reporting on its investment into its CoLab initiative, which has offered key investment support for emerging enterprises focused on delivering innovative, healthier snacks ranges. Furthermore, the company has also created reduced calorie ranges for a number of its snacks in response to consumer demand.
Its findings, which examine buying behaviour amid the ongoing pandemic period, demonstrate the expanded meaning of snacking in consumers’ lives – reinforcing the company’s ongoing strategy to become the global leader in snacking by offering the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way. Key findings include:
Expanded definition – nearly 80 percent of consumers globally say their definition of a snack has evolved over the last 3 years to include more or different types of foods, occasions for eating, or other elements.
Beyond nutrition – 85 percent of consumers eat at least one snack per day for indulgence, 88 percent say a balanced diet can include a little indulgence, and 74 percent say they can’t imagine a world without chocolate.
Integrating purchasing decisions with values – 85 percent of consumers worldwide want to buy snacks from companies offsetting their environmental footprint.
Expanding snacking experiences through social connectivity – more than half of people globally say social media has inspired them to try a new snack over the past year.
Furthermore, consumers are seeking snacks that deliver a range of benefits beyond physical well-being and nutrition needs. Consumers’ habits indicate both sustenance and indulgence are part of a balanced lifestyle, with 85 percent of consumers now eating at least one snack for sustenance and one snack for indulgence each day.
Additionally, snacking continues to serve as a vehicle for emotional well-being, with nearly eight in 10 global consumers agreeing that some snacks should be just for enjoyment or satisfaction, without worrying too much about nutrition (79 percent). Mindfulness and values-centric consumption also are increasingly top of mind, as 86 percent of consumers believe in the importance of control over their snacking choices through portion size options and ingredient transparency.
“Our State of Snacking report found that the definition of snacking is evolving among consumers globally, which is reshaping the meaning of snacking within people’s lives,” said Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International. “Snacking is much more than a source of nutrition and indulgence; it also is a source of social connection and inspiration for broadened experiences. Notably, consumers continue to prefer snacking occasions throughout the day over traditional mealtime – as this growing behavior, accelerated by the ongoing pandemic, increasingly becomes part of daily life. That’s why we are proud to continue offering the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way.”
Additional findings from the 2021 State of Snacking report, available for download at www.mondelezinternational.com/stateofsnacking, include:
Seeking snacks on demand
Consumers are experimenting with new channels to buy snacks, with more than half reporting shopping for snacks using at least three nontraditional or emerging channels in the last year (53 percent). These channels include delivery apps, online ordering for curbside or in-store pickup, and direct-to-consumer websites.
Majorities of global consumers expect to be able to buy the snacks they want whenever they want (80 percent) and using any channel they want (74 percent). This trend is especially strong in Asia and Latin America.
Snacking with a purpose
Consumers are growing more intentional about their purchase decisions as they become more in touch with their values. They are making more of an effort to learn more about the brands or companies they buy from and becoming more discerning over the sustainable nature of the snacks they choose.
Reducing waste is top of mind, as consumers say the number one environmental impact on their food choices is availability of low waste packaging (78 percent).
Social media as a snacking inspiration
Social media is a rising source of discovery as consumers increasingly find food trends, inspiration, and connection on their feeds.
More than half of global consumers (55 percent) say social media has inspired them to try a new snack in the past year, including even greater majorities of Gen Zs (70 percent) and millennials (71 percent).
“Consumers are becoming more discerning with their snacking choices as the trend toward conscious consumption grows, and we continue to find that balanced diets now often include a little indulgence for the majority,” continued Van de Put. “Consumers also expect to be able to get their snacks whenever and wherever they want. The findings of this report help inform our strategy so that at Mondelēz International, we can continue to anticipate and address the evolving tastes and preferences of the global consumer as a global leader in snacking.”