Global consumers favor snacks over traditional meals, study finds

Consumers increasingly gravitate towards products boasting perceived health and wellness benefits, according to Mondelēz International's fifth annual “State of Snacking” report
Global consumers favor snacks over traditional meals, study finds

Mondelēz International has released its fifth annual “State of Snacking” report, offering a comprehensive examination of global consumer behaviors and preferences within the snack industry. Despite prevailing economic uncertainties, the report reveals a steadfast commitment among consumers to snacks consumption, maintaining it as a priority in their purchasing habits.

This persistence in snacking preference comes as no surprise, as longitudinal observations spanning five years across 12 nations consistently illustrate a predilection for snacks over traditional meal options.


The latest findings from the State of Snacking report underscore a burgeoning appetite for snack consumption, characterized by a discernible shift towards mindful indulgence. Notably, the confectionery sector, particularly chocolate, remains closely intertwined with feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.

Consumers engage in snacking:

  • Consistently: Despite escalating price sensitivity, a significant majority (66%) report maintaining steady levels of expenditure on snacks.
  • Mindfully: An overwhelming majority (85%) express a profound appreciation for the sensory experience associated with snack consumption, with 78% noting heightened enjoyment when consumed with mindfulness.
  • Exploratively: A considerable portion (62%) of respondents actively leverage social media platforms in pursuit of novel snacking experiences, embodying a spirit of adventurous exploration.
  • Purposefully: A growing contingent of consumers (exceeding two-thirds) exhibit a propensity for selecting snack brands aligned with their values, fostering a burgeoning demand for sustainably sourced and responsibly produced snack options.

Dirk Van de Put, President and CEO of Mondelēz International, remarks, “The enduring trends underscored in our latest State of Snacking report serve as a testament to the unwavering significance of snacking in the lives of individuals worldwide, notwithstanding evolving market dynamics and shifting consumer preferences.”

The research further reveals that discerning snack consumers actively seek products that not only gratify their taste buds but also resonate with their ethical and environmental convictions. Preferences skew towards snacks offering perceived benefits such as heightened energy levels (75%), mood enhancement (74%), and alignment with fitness objectives (70%). Additionally, a substantial proportion (63%) prioritize snacks with minimal environmental footprints.

Additional insights gleaned from the 2023 State of Snacking report include:

  • The prevalence of snacking persists, with 88% of respondents incorporating snacks into their daily dietary routines.
  • A notable preference emerges for frequent, smaller meals throughout the day, as opposed to conventional large meals, with six in ten consumers endorsing this dietary pattern.
  • Portion control emerges as a salient consideration, with 67% of respondents exercising vigilance over snack portion sizes.
  • A pervasive sentiment prevails that “a world devoid of chocolate equates to a joyless existence,” resonating across generational and geographic boundaries, with 72% expressing this sentiment.
  • Social media platforms emerge as pivotal conduits for snack discovery, with over half of respondents expressing interest in and making purchases based on online snack recommendations.
  • An overwhelming majority (74%) underscore the significance of novel flavor and texture profiles in influencing snack selection.
  • The pervasive influence of social media extends to snack discovery, with 56% of consumers uncovering new snack options through online platforms, a figure that escalates markedly among younger demographics.
  • A pronounced environmental consciousness permeates consumer behavior, with 63% actively seeking snacks with minimal ecological footprints, manifesting through initiatives such as carbon neutrality and sustainable sourcing practices.
  • Noteworthy trends include a 74% increase in snack packaging recycling rates, signaling a burgeoning commitment to environmental stewardship among consumers.
  • Millennials emerge as trailblazers in sustainability-driven snacking preferences, with 71% actively favoring snacks with reduced plastic packaging.
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