Glanbia Nutritionals survey reveals UK consumer snacking habits

Different age groups prioritise different qualities in healthy snacks, according to the survey

A recent survey on snacking habits commissioned by Glanbia Nutritionals has found a third of snacking consumers admit to eating more when people aren’t around.

The survey of 2,000 consumers found 49% of those who snack are more likely to choose a healthy product at home than outside of home or the workplace, at 10% each. Nearly half of hybrid workers (working both at home and in the office) say they will be conscious of what they eat to stay healthy while working.

Of those working in this pattern, a quarter said they would eat more snacks as meal replacements, while 31% agreed they’d choose more on-the-go snacks because of their routine.

Different age groups prioritise different qualities in healthy snacks, according to the survey. A quarter of Gen Z consumers look for low calorie snacks, while 36% of 55 and older consumers look for low or no sugar. Protein is a priority for millennials, with 18% looking for protein-rich healthy snacks.

More than half of UK consumers, at 54%, snack when they are bored – rising to 62% for women. 41% of men and 53% of women use snacks as a reward or to treat themselves.

Stress is another factor in snacking, with 46% of women and 26% of men claiming to use snacks to cope with frustration. This has reportedly been a driver for demand from brands for solutions such as neuro-enhancing adaptogens, with more than half of 25-44 years stating ingredients with calming effects are appealing.

Director of Global Insights at Glanbia Nutritionals, a leading supplier of nutritional solutions to food producers, Ludi Marché said: “Consumer choices have been hugely impacted by the overhaul in our daily lives caused by the pandemic, and brands should take note that the ‘new normal’ is impacting snacking habits once again. This presents an opportunity for food manufacturers to diversify their portfolio and customer base through added nutritional ingredients.

“According to our insights, functional snacks for energy, focus, and relaxation are increasingly trending with consumers, particularly in the form of bars and ready-to-drink beverages. Adding a custom nutrient premix is an effective way to incorporate healthy nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals into a snack food.”

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