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Consumers seek sustainable snacks: Mondelēz report

Mondelēz International launched its fifth annual State of Snacking™ report, a global consumer trends study. This year’s report reveals that, amidst ongoing global economic uncertainty, consumers continue to prioritize, purchase and prefer snacks. The report was developed in partnership with The Harris Poll.

The past half-decade of tracking attitudes and behaviors among thousands of consumers across 12 countries has shown a consistent trendline of consumers demonstrating a preference for snacks over meals.

In addition to the yearly State of Snacking report, Mondelēz is also rolling out a standalone, complementary State of Snacking: Future Trends report this year, showcasing longer-term consumer macro trends shaping the future of snacking. Both are available for download. The macro trends analyzed include: shifting demographic landscape, increasingly fluid lifestyles, people and planet impact imperative, health and well-being ubiquity, and resurgence of experience economy. These macro trends provide additional context on changing behaviors from a big-picture perspective, further exploring how the snacking world may evolve in the future.

This year’s State of Snacking findings reveal that snacking behaviors continue to grow, including notable growth in mindful snacking, with the chocolate category in particular closely associated with joy. Consumers are snacking:

  • Consistently: snack spending remains unchanged with two-thirds (66%) of consumers agreeing they have not made significant changes to their spend on snacks, despite being more conscious of price.
  • Mindfully: 85% of consumers report they regularly savor a snack’s taste, flavor, and texture while eating; 78% say they appreciate snacks more when consumed mindfully.
  • Adventurously: consumers surveyed are leveraging social media (62%) and searching for novelty, with six in 10 considering themselves “snack adventurers” who like to try new snacks.
  • Purposefully: over two-thirds of global consumers agree they often choose brands that align with their values, fueling a rising appetite for snacks with sustainability benefits.

“The trend lines of the past half-decade of our State of Snacking report reinforce that despite a continued dynamic environment and changing preferences, snacking remains an integral pillar in the lives of global consumers,” said Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International. “As a more intentional consumer evolves, embracing mindful snacking, we continue to help empower them with choices across our brands as we aim to become a global snack leader.”

The survey demonstrates the growing consumer desire for snacks that offer both satisfaction and alignment with personal and environmental values. Consumers rely on snacks for perceived benefits such as to boost energy (75%), improve mood (74%), and align with fitness goals (70%). Additionally, 63% of consumers surveyed seek snacks that work to minimize their environmental impact.

Additional findings from the 2023 State of Snacking report and State of Snacking: Future Trends report, include:

  • The Evolving Snacking Mindset
    • Snacking remains a preferred eating habit, with 88% of consumers reporting that they indulge in snacks daily.
    • Six in 10 agree that they prefer many small meals throughout the day, as opposed to a few large ones.
  • Mindful Snacking
    • Portion control is increasingly important, with 67% of consumers saying they seek portion-controlled snacks.
    • Seven in 10 agree they would rather have a smaller portion of an indulgent snack than a bigger portion of a low-fat/sugar alternative version.
    • 72% of surveyed fear a “world without chocolate would be a world without joy,” a feeling that is consistent across generations and regions.
  • Snack Curation
    • Social media plays a crucial role in snack discovery, with over half of the consumers surveyed expressing interest in an “instant buy” option for snacks found online.
    • 74% report that the novelty of the flavor and texture combination are important to them when choosing a snack.
    • 56% discover new snacks on social media, and these numbers are even higher among young generations.
  • Snacking with Purpose
    • 63% of consumers surveyed seek snacks that work to minimize their environmental impact with actions such as using carbon offsets, prioritizing local ingredients, and optimizing supply chains to promote sustainability.
    • 74% report that they often recycle their snack packaging – up three percentage points from last year – a statistically significant increase.
    • Millennials are most likely to say they prioritize snacks that have less plastic packaging to begin with (71%).

“We have seen that snacking has helped consumers navigate the last five years,” said Martin Renaud, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer at Mondelēz International. “At Mondelēz International, we continue to work towards meeting the rising demand for more sustainable snacking options and mindful snacking, as the category remains a consistent daily ritual.”


Photo: Pexels (#13431783)