1. Department & Category

Summer Snacking is for Groups and Meal Replacement

 

Small meals, or snacking has become a mainstay lifestyle for many in the United States according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Time starved, on-the-go consumers are replacing traditional meal periods with small meals or snacks that can fit into a pack on-the-go lifestyle according to Johnson.

Sally Lyons Wyatt, executive vice president and practice leader at IRI, stated that “Snacking is a lifestyle in the United States. This is not something that’s going away anytime soon”, during her “State of Snacking” presentation at this year’s Sweets & Snacks Expo.

Inflation or a potential recession may not hurt certain snack products, as they are less sensitive to price, such as potato chips, tortilla chips, and dried meat snacks. Yes, Americans need their potato chips.

Today, convenience stores are well positioned to continue growing snack sales based on their success in maximizing daypart sales and capitalizing on consumer preferences for snack types — 51 percent of Americans are looking for snacks that can be eaten on the go.

Wyatt pointed to three major influences on snack purchases:

1.       74 percent of U.S. consumers are influenced by previous usage and trust of brands;

2.       74 percent are influenced by item price;

3.       53 percent of consumers are influenced by product label/packaging.

Wyatt continued, “At the same time, operators should consider the value of social influencers and social/digital communications. “Tik Tok has become a home for influencers,”.

When looking for that fast meal replacement or snack, sustainability, local credentials and evolved holistic health factors can also be influential — in other words, consumers are looking for more than one benefit in their snacks.

So, discussing the future of snacks, PepsiCo Inc.’s Mike Gervasio, vice president of category leadership, noted that the company has shifted its approach from a category-based view to a consumer-based view. Rather than focus narrowly on traditional snacks like popcorn, pretzels and potato chips, he said retailers and suppliers should recognize that snacking occasions have expanded significantly. Depending on the format, almost anything can be a snack now, even pizza leftover from the night before.

“Consumption has changed dramatically, so we’re here to change with it,” Gervasio said.

To keep up with these evolving consumption trends, companies should consider:

·         Need states: What needs must be met during this snacking occasion?

·         Location: Where does this occasion take place?

·         Who they’re with: Is the snacker alone or with other people?

·         Purchase location: Where is the item being purchased?

·         Meal type: Would this be considered a snack, a small meal, etc.?

·         Accompaniment: What role does the product play in the meal?

By considering these factors, companies can determine how a product is likely to fulfill a particular consumer need: uplift, indulgence, satisfaction, energy or nourishment. “Each category is DNA within the need state,” Gervasio said. What small meals are you offering consumers in a fresh fast format?

Looking for success clues of your own? Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced food marketing and business development ideations. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities, technology, or a new menu product segment.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit us on our social media sites by clicking one of the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

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