Stuffing Chips - © Michael Moss - Salt Sugar Fat Book

Snacking Enjoying ‘Binge’ Market During Lock Down

We’ve mentioned it before over the past year in this space, but a new study of Snacking In Canada (and the U.S.) confirms it’s been a brutally busy and beautifully profitable time for Snack makers since the majority of North Americans were ordered to stay home and isolate…

Binge Watch Seinfeld - lg - © 1993 Seinfeld

“Snacking was described as a ‘lifeline’ for 42 per cent of respondents
of all demographics [and] as a way of combatting solitude”

Stands to reason that folks who’ve been following a less-active lifestyle for the past year would come to rely more on more-casual eating options such as Snacks in their daily routines. And Snack makers are enjoying record sales as a result. It also means that the people who pump Sweet, Salty and Spicy snacks into the market-place have been working overtime to, “understand the dynamics behind the uptick in demand and to quantify and measure the changing nature of people’s snacking preferences and shopping habits in an effort to develop new products — or give trendy tweaks to nostalgic favourites — that will help to sustain growth in the $1.4 trillion sector.”

For purposes of the new study, ‘Snacks’ were defined as: “…small portions of ready-to-eat, packaged, processed or fresh foods that people consume between meals.”

Many factors in play

According to a cover story on the results of the Mondelez Brands survey in the latest issue of Food in Canada (FIC) magazine reports that. “PepsiCo, Kellogg’s and Mondelez, for example, had strong sales growth in 2020, beating gloomy pre-pandemic predictions by Wall Street analysts. These companies all had double-digit quarterly sales increases across their snack brand portfolios in 2020.”

Julie Anne Philip, Director of Consumer Insights and Analytics at Mondelez Canada, told FIC: “The pandemic has accelerated that.”

The survey also found that, “nearly two-thirds of respondents also identified snacking as a highlight in their day, including nearly three-quarters of parents working from home. Snacking was also seen by many as a way of combatting solitude. [In fact,] snacking was described as a ‘lifeline’ for 42 per cent of respondents of all demographics, and that figure climbed to almost 60 per cent among Millennials and Generation Z during the past year.”

Online ordering and sales is also supporting sky-rocketing sales in the Snacking sector and a majority of consumers polled, and a majority also say they intend to keep ordering their snacks that way after the pandemic has ended.

My take

The findings of the new Mondelez global survey make perfect sense to me. And kudos to Snack makers for working so hard to take full advantage of the current market aberrations. But I’m particularly glad to see Snackers embracing ‘fresh fruits and vegetables’ in their grocery shopping habits.

Indications are that some of us will have to wait until this coming September to get any one of the new COVID-19 vaccines that have arrived on the market these past two weeks. Let’s hope that the beneficial effects of the Snacking explosion can keep doing ntheir mood magic until the pressure is off…

~ Maggie J.