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Date added: 02/19/2016 Millennials Drive Snacking Trend

# Millennials Drive Snacking Trend

According to research, consumers are now snacking more than ever.

Even more interesting is that, while consumers are chowing down on snacks more, they are eschewing traditional meals in favor of those snacks.

A number of factors are driving this trend, but chief among them is the demographic group known as millennials, those individuals born between the years 1977 and 1995. Comprising approximately 25 percent of the total U.S. population, this demographic group holds the potential to transform shopping trends in the U.S. in much the same way as the baby boomer generation has.

The most important values that now influence the food and beverage choices of millennials include convenience, transparency, and creativity. Also driving buying choices is the fact that millennials live in a technology-driven world and are eager to utilize that technology to make buying decisions.

One key trend now impacting the snacking decisions of this group is wellness. Research shows that consumers in this age group are more likely than older generations to choose healthier snacks. For instance, younger consumers tend to be concerned about nutrient density and often even use a snack to replace a traditional meal, relying on the energy and nutrition provided by that snack to keep them going during the day.

Consumers are also increasingly interested in organic snacks. This snacking category has witnessed tremendous growth in just the last few years. Supermarkets looking to tap into the latest trends will find that using shelf dividers to clearly differentiate organic foods could be an excellent way to draw consumer attention.

There is also increased growth in food categories not previously associated with snacking. Among those categories are yogurt, vegetables, and beverages. Consumers with a desire to eat healthy and still desire taste are now increasingly choosing such products as baked vegetable chips and sports drinks.

Multisensory snacking has also experienced increased interest, with millennials opting for foods with global inspiration, such as flavors inspired by authentic tastes from countries like Indonesia, Thailand, and Korea. Adventurous flavors, such as sriracha and chipotle, have also become increasingly popular among this demographic group.

Snacks have evolved significantly over the years and will certainly continue to do so moving into the future. Supermarket operators with an eye toward staying competitive will want to make sure to stay on top of millennial-driven trends while focusing on making such products easily noticeable and accessible.

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