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Snack Expo|Top 3 Snacking Trends In The United States For 2024

2024.05.13

Snack Expo has learnt that PepsiCo subsidiaries Frito-Lay and Quaker have released the fifth annual edition of the U.S. Snack Index, which outlines the snacking trends that will be shaping U.S. consumer habits in 2024.

 

As they explain, the line between ‘snack’ and ‘meal’ is expected to blur further in the coming year, especially for time-poor parents and millennials.

 

Denise Lefebvre, Senior Vice President of Food R&D at PepsiCo, commented, ‘While the latest Frito-Lay and Quaker Snack Index confirms that time is running out, the data also reinforces consumers’ strong passion for their food preferences.’

 

‘As we look ahead to 2024, we have a tremendous opportunity to continue to meet the evolving needs of consumers. It's more important than ever for us to incorporate that inspiration into our innovations and deliver on our promise to put a smile on every bite.’

 

According to the latest American Snack Index, let's take a look at the top three food and snack trends that are about to shape the year ahead:

 

1. The time-crunch dilemma

 

According to the Index, the average American has 52 minutes a day to prepare, eat and enjoy a meal, with one-third of consumers having less than 30 minutes to prepare and consume a meal. With this in mind, more consumers are incorporating snack products into their meals (up 35% from previous years), and more than half of consumers are using snacks as a ‘no-prep’ dinner ingredient at least once a week.

 

By 2024, Americans will ‘say goodbye to hours of marinating, chopping, baking or roasting,’ according to the index, as no-fuss meals, coupled with snack products, will continue to be popular.

 

2. Snacking expert profiles

 

The Index also claims that more consumers will claim to be ‘snack experts’, seeking to combine a variety of foods to create the perfect flavour. Some 80% of consumers consider this an ‘art form’, while less than two-thirds (65%) admit to creating ‘wacky’ snack combinations as part of their snacking.

 

Some 83% of Millennials and 82% of Gen Z are most likely to embrace the ‘snack expert’ mentality, with the majority also being urban dwellers (77%). Some 55% of respondents say their favourite snack combinations are influenced by what's available in the pantry, while 32% rely on social media to find more snack ideas.

 

3. Snacking for Tasty Satisfaction

 

According to the Index, protein, energy and flavour are among the core attributes U.S. consumers will be looking for in snacks in 2024, with more than half (55%) citing protein as the ‘most important nutritional attribute’.

 

Additionally, 60% of consumers look to snack products for energy (including 72% of Millennials), while nearly three-quarters (74%) say they refuse to sacrifice taste when choosing snacks.


Baby Boomers are the most resistant to taste compromises (84%), while Gen Xers are a close second (75%).

 

The survey was conducted between 6 and 12 December 2023 and involved a national sample of 2,000 US adults aged 18 and over. The complete U.S. Snack Index can be found at Snack Expo.

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