Time and Place Drive Snack Picks
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.