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Top 3 Snacking Trends In The United States For 2024

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Top 3 Snacking Trends In The United States For 2024

PepsiCo subsidiaries Frito-Lay and Quaker have published the fifth annual edition of their US Snack Index, which outlines the snacking trends that are set to shape consumption habits in the United States in 2024.

As they explain, the lines between what constitutes 'snacking' and 'mealtimes' are expected to blur further over the coming year, especially among time-poor parents and younger generations.

"While Frito-Lay and Quaker's latest Snack Index confirms that time is scarce, the data also reinforces the fierce passion that consumers have for their food preferences," commented Denise Lefebvre, senior vice president of R&D for PepsiCo Foods.

"As we look to 2024, we have a tremendous opportunity to continue meeting the evolving needs of our consumers. It has never been more important for us to infuse that inspiration with innovation, delivering on our promise of more smiles with every bite."

Let's have a look at the top three food and snacking trends poised to shape the year ahead, according to the latest US Snack Index:

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1. The Time Crunch Dilemma

According to the Index, the average American has 52 minutes a day to prepare, eat and enjoy their meals, with one third of consumers preparing and consuming meals in less than 30 minutes. With this in mind, more consumers are integrating snack products into meals – up 35% on previous years – while more than half of consumers use snacks as an ingredient in 'no-prep' dinners at least once a week.

In 2024, the Index claims, Americans will 'say goodbye to hours spent marinating, chopping, roasting or baking', as meals that require little effort to make, augmented by snack products, will continue to grow in popularity.

2. Introducing The Snack Savant

The Index also claims that more consumers will declare themselves to be 'Snack Savants', seeking to combine multiple food products to create the perfect bite. Some 80% of consumers believe this is an 'art form', while just under two thirds (65%) admit to creating 'eccentric' snack combinations as part of their snacking repertoire.

Some 83% of Millenials and 82% of Gen Z are most likely to embrace the 'Snack Savant' mindset, while the majority are also city dwellers (77%). Some 55% state that their preferred snack combinations are influenced by the items already available in their pantry, while 32% rely on social media to discover more snack ideas.

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3. Snacking for Tasty Satisfaction

Protein, energy and taste are among the core attributes that US consumers will look for from their snacks in 2024, according to the Index, with more than half (55%) citing protein as 'the most important nutritional attribute'.

In addition, 60% of consumers look to snacking products to provide an energy boost – including 72% of Millennials – while close to three quarters (74%) say that they refuse to sacrifice taste when selecting their snacks.
Baby Boomers exhibit the highest resistance to compromise on taste (84%), while Gen Xers follow closely behind (75%).

The survey took place from December 6 to December 12, 2023, involving a national sample of 2,000 US adults aged 18 and above. The full US Snack Index can be found here.

Read More: PepsiCo's Doritos Brand Unveils Alcoholic Spirit

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