‘Healthy snackers’ looking for better snack opportunities in 2012, Mintel update

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 6th February 2012

New research about snackfoods and consumers’ snack food choices, ‘Healthy Snackers’, was released in the U.S on 2 February, 2012 by Mintel Research.

Mintel defined a “healthy snacker” as one who chooses to consume snacks that are healthier than others, while reducing the consumption of less-healthy nibbles.

According to Mintel’s research report, 44 percent of healthy snackers said they tend to eat healthfully most of the time while 42 percent made it a point to snack on foods that are healthy. At the same time, 39 percent of healthy snackers said they use less-healthy nibbles as an occasional treat.

Molly Maier, senior wellness analyst at Mintel said, “Participants in the research identified healthful snacks and maintained they snacked healthfully”. For example, 86 percent said they snacked on fresh fruit, followed by 73 percent who said they snacked on vegetables, and 71 percent snacked on nuts/seeds. However, 12 percent of people rated ice-cream as a healthy snack and 9 percent rated cookies as ”healthy snacks”.

Snacks are often an impulsive purchase, and one of convenience. Yet, 46 percent of respondents said it was hard to find healthy snacks in vending machines or other on-the-go locations while 16 percent believed it took more time to prepare a healthy snack than other types. “Increasing accessibility and portability can help maximize usage”, said Ms Maier.

Ms Maier added, “Eating healthy snacks can offer many benefits to consumers, such as increased energy and feeling fuller longer, so there is a big opportunity for the makers and marketers of snacks to leverage these connections to maximize health positioning”.

Mintel, established in 1972, is a leading global food and beverage research organisation.