How will COVID affect consumer snacking?
Many people may have not thought about the topic, but as a c-store manager or exec, it’s definitely something to consider.
Let’s get right into some of the trends that will shape consumer snacking:
1. New Flavor Experiences
If there’s anything to know about human behavior, it’s that people like the new and unique. And it’s no different when it comes to snacking.
Market research by FMCG Gurus and reported at Food & Beverage Insiders shows that 57% of consumers like products with new and unusual flavors while 72% have experimented more with flavors in the past 5 years.
This data, by the way, was for global consumers, and not just Americans.
So what new and unique experiences can your c-store deliver to your customers?
2. Consumers Want Healthier Choices
Today’s consumer no longer wants just whatever they can get whenever they can get it.
They want their body and mind to be in tip-top shape. They don’t want to feel the afternoon crash so many Americans experience.
Research by natural foods company ADM supports this. 31% of consumers already purchase snack items tailored to their health needs, while 50% say they prefer snacks with naturally beneficial ingredients.
3. Buying Snacks Online Won’t Change
Per the Mondelez International 2020 State of Snacking report, 69% of consumers plan to continue buying their snacks online even after the pandemic ends.
Even though society is slowly opening up here, consumer confidence in the safety of their health remains relatively low.
It’s going to take some time for consumers to see that COVID will remain at bay.
4. Consumers Will Rely on Snacking More Than Ever Before
Pre-COVID-19, consumers ate an average of 2.6 snacks per day. 42% of consumers said they ate more than three snacks per day. 44% said they ate snacks in lieu of meals at home and work.
Now, after COVID-19, snacks are only increasing in importance, according to an article at Food Business News.
With more consumers buying online and going with healthier options than ever before, you need to strike a balance between those preferences while making online ordering easier.
5. Upcycled Snacks Gaining Momentum
“Upcycling” refers to using the byproducts of other manufacturing processes to create snacks.
Not only is it a way to identify new and delicious snacks, but since it minimizes waste, you can advertise it as beneficial for the environment too.
The Upcycled Food Association (we have no business relationship with them) has a list of dozens of companies who make such snacks.
As far as snacking goes, you have plenty of opportunity. Will you capitalize on it?