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What Kind of Snacker Are You – Lunchtime Planner or Vending Machine Grabber?
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What Kind of Snacker Are You – Lunchtime Planner or Vending Machine Grabber?

Do you plan all your snack purchases or do you like to try new snacks on a whim? If you’re like most snackers around the world, the good news is that you don’t have to choose. With close to $400 billion dollars spent annually on snacks worldwide, most of us do a bit of both.

Large percentages of global respondents in Nielsen’s 60-country global online survey are snack planners. They eat snacks at home (79%), with family and friends (68%), and they have a few snacks they keep in rotation (68%). These consumers tend to buy snacks in the store aisle (63%) and know exactly what they want when they get to the store (56%). A smaller percentage plans and carries the snacks they eat each day (36%). Asia-Pacific respondents exceed the global averages for snack planning.

Nevertheless, many of us are spontaneous snackers. These adventurous global respondents like to try new snacks (65%), buy a variety of snacks (63%), and do not plan their snack purchases (58%). There’s no time like the present for these consumers, who often eat snacks as soon as they buy them (48%) and tend to buy snacks at the check-out counter (31%). The largely developing regions of Asia-Pacific, Middle East/Africa and Latin America exceed the global averages for such spontaneous snacker characteristics. North American respondents lead the way for buying a variety of different snacks (70%).

Other snackers are marked by their discerning snack-attitudes. Purposeful snackers know what they want in a snack and are very selective about what they choose. These global respondents prefer snacks with ingredients that are sourced sustainably (56%) and will pay extra for fair-trade snacks (47%). Confectionery such as fair trade chocolate and premium varieties of chocolate are good examples. Purposeful snackers prefer to buy name-brand snacks (51%), and many will only buy snacks that are on sale (37%). North Americans have the highest percentage of respondents that buy snacks on sale (43%). For sustainably sourced snack ingredients, the highest percentages of respondents live in Asia-Pacific (68%); for brand-name snacks, it’s the Middle East (63%). 

The report also discusses:

  • Snack sales and the types of products driving growth around the world.
  • Regional preferences for where we purchase snacks.
  • Strategies and trends that will shape the future of snacking.

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Global Survey of Snacking.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The findings in this survey are based on respondents with online access across 60 countries. While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration has not reached majority potential, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. Additionally, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data.