Food industry tactics: The marketing of the snack

August 8, 2012

Colourful lolliesThis article provides some interesting insights in how marketers view and address the opportunities of an increase in snacking amongst adults and children.  Research from the US shows that between 1977 and 2002, the percent of the American population eating three or more snacks a day increased to 42 percent from 11 percent.

When snacking was less common, the snacking tended to refer to certain kinds of food. Now marketers have recognised the changes in snacking trends, in that it isn’t just about the food, rather the way in which that food is consumed. Industry has identified ‘at least five distinct snacking occasions’ surrounding the three main meals each day, that they can measure and model significant patterned snacking behavior around.

Snacking can have a significant role to play in improving people’s nutritional profile by providing opportunities to eat more fruit or dairy products (providing extra fibre and calcium), they can also however provide the opportunity for A LOT of extra energy depending on the food choices we make throughout our entire day.

A National Nutrition Surveys of food intake of U.S. children show large increases in snacking between the 1989–91 to 1994–98 and 1994–98 to 2003–06 survey periods. This research showed more than 27 percent of children’s daily calories are coming from snacks, and the largest increases were seen in the consumption of salty snacks and candy. Desserts and sweetened beverages remain the major sources of calories from snacks.

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