It’s no secret that Americans are a nation of snackers. As a matter of fact, snacking has become a powerful new trend in foodservice, according to research from Mintel Menu Insights. It found that menu items containing the descriptors "snack," "snackable" or "snacker" having increased 170 percent since 2007.

The research points out that 61 percent of consumers choose a portable snack, while 52 percent crave an indulgent snack and 50 percent want something salty to nibble.   The study showed that went snack time hit, only 32 percent of the people choose a healthy option.

Consumers are more likely to visit restaurants in the early and late afternoon for snacks, Mintel found, although they’re willing to spend a bit more for snacks in the early evening. Only 19 percent of respondents purchased snacks from a restaurant between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., but the average amount spent at that time is $4.26 per person, versus $3.79 across all other time slots.

"Snack options need to be appropriate for the time frame," notes Eric Giandelone, Mintel’s director of foodservice research. "Heartier and pricier fare may have more appeal later in the day, while light options may work best in the morning or early afternoon."


Source: Mintel,