Progressive Grocer

Grocerant February 2017

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Page 21 of 35

22 SOLUTIONS FEBRUARY 2017 The idea of three square meals a day is rapidly giving way to all snacking, all the time. It's no coin- cidence that the decline in tradi- tional full meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner has aligned with an in- crease in snacking, and the trend is shaping up to be a permanent shift in dining habits and preferences. While snack consumption has continued to increase since 2012, the past two years have seen notable growth, accord- ing to the 2016 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Re- port from Chicago-based menu research firm Technomic. In 2016, 83 percent of consumers said they snack on a daily basis, compared with 76 percent in 2014. And this growth is expected to continue. In its report How America Eats: 2016 State of the Snack Food Industry, Chi- cago-based Information Resources Inc. (IRI) projects that snack sales will grow $35 billion during the next five years. Snacking redefined Although items like salty snacks and cookies remain popu- lar, the definition of what constitutes a snack continues to evolve beyond what consumers were munching on just a decade or two ago. As the Technomic report states, "More people are defining 'snacks' as any item consumed outside traditional meal hours. ey're also considering a wider variety of foods to be snacks." Maia Chang, senior research analyst, consumer insights for Technomic, underscores that point. "Basically anything can be a snack now," she says. "e whole idea has really Smart snack strategies BY LY N N PE T R A K Nearly half of consumers look for servings of fruits or vegetables in snacks, according to IRI. Target shoppers who are redefining the concept of " between meals."

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