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Snacks Take a Bite Out of Traditional Dayparts

Three square meals a day may be losing their longstanding appeal, as almost half of consumers today say they’re eating snacks instead of meals at home. The rise of “snack meals” makes the ever-present grab-and-go trend even more significant and presents new opportunities for operators looking to pivot with the times.

Knowing Your Snacker

Over 90% of Americans surveyed say they replace at least one of their meals weekly with a snack, and 7% say they never eat full meals. As many as 70% of millennials surveyed in 2021 said they preferred snacks to meals, possibly tied to the change in routine and work-from-home schedules during COVID-19-era quarantine life.

Meal-to-Snack Swaps

Over half of consumers (52%) described replacing breakfast with snacks or mini meals, according to IRI. People are also snacking while running errands, fitting more activities into their days rather than taking the time to prepare and eat a full meal. It may also help to combat “hangry feelings” or mid-day fatigue as they run from place to place.

Keeping Food Travel-Friendly

This is the perfect opportunity to highlight grab-and-go menus, and to develop creative recipes beyond sandwiches that stay fresh during transit. It’s also important to ensure spill-proof packaging for these consumers on the run. One way to meet the demand for creative snack options in tightly sealed takeout containers is to try menuing bento boxes. This fun, travel-friendly system is an easy way to offer bite-sized portions of snacks that satisfy consumers’ desires for variety and nutrition. Include a lean protein like turkey that is easy to prep and pairs excellently with a variety of vegetables and fruits.

Content courtesy of Butterball Foodservice


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