Crunching the Numbers on Consumer Snacking Trends

A new report by Mondelēz International reveals the latest global trends in snacking.

Kristen Kazarian, Managing Editor

March 15, 2024

3 Min Read
Global Snack Trends
Consumers still like munching on snacks, but some differences were noted.Image courtesy of shironagasukujira / iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Mondelēz International, creator of baked goods, salted snacks, and sweet snacks has just come out with its fifth annual State of Snacking report.

The study examines how consumers make their snacking decisions and reveals that — even with tough economic times, inflation, and the rise of people on prescribed weight-loss medication — consumers still purchase and prefer snacks.

Developed with The Harris Poll, this report was initially launched five years ago. The past half-decade of tracking attitudes and behaviors among thousands of consumers across 12 countries has shown a consistent trendline of consumers demonstrating a preference for snacks over meals.

The State of Snacking findings also show that snacking behaviors continue to grow, especially in mindful snacking, with the chocolate category closely associated with joy. 

6 IN 10 global consumers agree they prefer having smaller meals or snacks during the day instead of a few large ones.

Here is what consumers shared on how they are snacking:

  • Consistently: Snack spending remains unchanged with 66% of consumers saying they have not made significant changes to their spending on snacks, despite being more conscious of price.

  • Mindfully: 85% of consumers report they regularly savor a snack’s taste, flavor, and texture while eating; 78% say they appreciate snacks more when consumed mindfully.

  • Adventurously: Consumers surveyed are leveraging social media (62%) and searching for novelty, with six in 10 considering themselves “snack adventurers” who like to try new snacks.

  • Purposefully: Over two-thirds of global consumers agree they often choose brands that align with their values — snacks with sustainability benefits.

The survey reveals the growing consumer desire for snacks that offer both satisfaction and alignment with personal and environmental values. Consumers rely on snacks for perceived benefits, such as to boost energy (75%), improve mood (74%), and align with fitness goals (70%). And 63% of consumers surveyed seek snacks that work to minimize their environmental impact.

The growing practice of ‘snackifying’ regular meals is increasing demand for more balanced snacks that serve as adequate nutrition in convenient formats.

The snack giant also came out with a report on future trends in snacking. Mondelez collaborated with the Food Institute, Euromonitor, Kantar, Mintel, and NextAtlas. Here are just a few of the trends observed.

1. Evolving Snacking Mindset

Snacking remains a preferred eating habit, with 88% of consumers reporting that they indulge in snacks daily.

Six in 10 agree that they prefer many small meals throughout the day, as opposed to a few large ones.

2. Mindful Snacking

Portion control is increasingly important, with 67% of consumers saying they seek portion-controlled snacks.

Seven in 10 would rather have a smaller portion of an indulgent snack than a bigger portion of a low-fat, low-sugar alternative version.

72% fear a “world without chocolate would be a world without joy,” a feeling that is consistent across generation and region.

3. Snack Curation

Social media plays a crucial role in snack discovery, with over half of the consumers surveyed expressing interest in an “instant buy” option for snacks found online.

74% report that the novelty of the flavor and texture combination are important to them when choosing a snack.

56% discover new snacks on social media, and these numbers are even higher among young generations.

4. Snacking with Purpose

63% of consumers surveyed seek snacks that work to minimize their environmental impact with actions such as using carbon offsets, prioritizing local ingredients, and optimizing supply chains to promote sustainability.

74% report that they often recycle their snack packaging — up three percentage points from last year — a statistically significant increase.

Millennials are most likely to say they prioritize snacks that have less plastic packaging to begin with (71%).

Mondelēz produces snack foods including belVita, Cadbury, Chips Ahoy!, Clif bar, Honey Maid, Oreo, Ritz, Wheat Thins Triscuit, Sour Patch Kids, and more.

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

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