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NewsBites January 2016 Issue

Time and Place Drive Snack Picks

IMAGE THINKSTOCK

How you snack partly depends on when and where you’re noshing. Savory snack consumption peaks at midday, according to the NPD Group market-research firm. The desire to reach for something sweet, on the other hand, grows after dinner and peaks at 8 p.m.; more than a third of sweet snacks are consumed after dinner. Healthier snacks, perhaps surprisingly, are more likely to be eaten on-the-go and away from home: More than 40% of snacks packed for school or work or in the car are classified as "better-for-you" choices.

The NPD Group report also noted that many snacks are consumed instead of a meal or as part of a meal: "The growth of snack foods consumed at mealtimes is driven by items already in the house, so it’s more important than ever for [snack producers] to get on the shopping list." That also suggests, of course, the importance of smart snack shopping for health-conscious consumers. Previous market research has reported that 50% of all "eating occasions" are now snacking and 21% of Americans are “opportunistic eaters” who graze throughout the day, blurring the lines between meals and snacks.

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