NEW YORK — Millennials’ top choice when it comes to snacking is salty snacks, according to “How America’s Eating Habits Are Changing,” a new report from the Private Label Manufacturers Association.
The on-line survey of 1,839 shoppers between the ages of 20 and 29 found 58% prefer snacking on salty snacks like chips, popcorn, pretzels, crackers and nuts, while 42% said they prefer sweet snacks like cookies, candy and donuts. Thirty per cent identified cold cereal as their preferred snack choice.
The top reason (48%) consumers snack is because they “plan to eat later and want something to hold me over,” the P.L.M.A. survey said. Other top choices were “I’m in a rush or doing something else” (43%), followed by “I’m just too busy/don’t have the time” (38%) and “I need quick energy” (36%).
More than 60% of those surveyed said they agreed or strongly agreed that they often find themselves snacking throughout the day, which compared with less than 15% who disagreed or strongly disagreed.
Looking at eating habits within the home, the survey found that 35% “sometimes” eat fresh baked bread, rolls or muffins from the supermarket or bakery, while 24% “frequently” do, 22% “rarely” do, 12% “always/almost always” do, and 8% “never” do.
When consumers eat away from home, 37% said they “sometimes” eat fresh baked bread, rolls or muffins from the supermarket or bakery, while 21% “frequently” do, 19% “rarely” do, 12% “never” do and 11% “always/almost always” do.
Fresh baked whole loaves or sliced bread (32%) is the most common fresh bakery product consumers surveyed said they buy in a supermarket, followed by fresh muffins or donuts (31%), fresh sandwich or dinner rolls (29%), fresh bakery cookies (27%), fresh breakfast rolls or bagels (26%), fresh pastries, brownies, tarts or sweet rolls (22%), fresh baked artisanal or specialty bread (20%), fresh whole cakes, cupcakes or pies (19%), special seasonal, holiday or novelty items (16%), specially decorated cakes (13.7%), and bakery assortment trays or party platters (10.8%). Nineteen per cent said they never buy products in the bakery section, the P.L.M.A. said.
The P.L.M.A. survey also asked consumers to rate how important avoiding certain ingredients is when choosing a food. In terms of gluten, 13% said it is “very important” to avoid, while 20% said it is “somewhat important,” 28% said it is “neither important nor unimportant,” 16% said it is “somewhat important,” and 23% said it is “not at all important.” Asked for their thoughts on avoiding genetically modified foods, 24% said it is “very important,” 29% said it is “somewhat important,” 29% said it is “neither important nor unimportant,” 9% said it is “somewhat important” and 10% said it is “not at all important.”For the full survey, click here.