According to Nielsen’s The Power of Snacking report, the traditional view that snacking decisions are unplanned and impulsive is no longer the case but purchases are much more diverse and complex now.
- Find out about the latest snack trends here
The research identified seven snacker profile that consumer behaviour falls into:
- Impulsive – more likely to try new snacks. This profile is closest to the traditional stereotype
- Planned – regularly pre-plan the various snacks they will eat over the course of the day
- Meal replacement – functional snackers who have missed a core meal and want something to refuel and keep them going
- Healthy – actively looking for fruit and vegetable-based snacks that are low in sugar or salt, have primarily natural sugars and are organic
- Investigator – take a more considered approach to snacking, taking into account the mix of ingredients, pack size, choice of brands and more
- Promotional – choices are based solely on price
- Indulgent – purchase their snacks based on emotion, specifically as a treat
Nielsen sales effectiveness business partner Joanna Parman said: “Snacking will always be wrapped up in a mixture of physiological and emotional needs, and the profiles we have identified are not exclusive; it is possible for a single snacker to move through all seven profiles.
“The key is to better understand these variances and identify where the opportunities exist to unlock growth for brands and retailers.”
For all snacker types, fruit and vegetables were the top choice on weekdays. Tea, coffee and water were next, showing these are staple snacks to get consumers through the working week that pubs can certainly get involved in.
While all snackers seem to abide by more strict and healthy snacking habits through the working week, they also find time for indulgent treats once the weekend comes around.
Chocolate, cakes and popcorn were all included in the top five weekend snacks for the seven profiles, while cola and sweets appeared in five of the seven. It was only the healthy and planned snackers who find room for fruit and veg in their weekend snacking routine.
Parman added: “If fruit and vegetables are the major cues that customers use to make their weekday snacking decisions, manufacturers can use this insight to better tailor their products.
“This could be through recipe changes or increased on-pack communication to highlight the natural fruit and vegetable ingredients, with the aim of drawing demand for midweek consumption.
“It is also important to note that while health is key on the snacking agenda, there is still a big role for the traditional core snacking products to play in driving growth and should be supported accordingly in venues.”