5 Insights Into Millennials’ Snack Habits

Jill Failla, Editor, Technomic

Millennials snacking

AUSTIN, Texas -- Millennials are the driving force behind the better-for-you snack category at retailers, according to a new study from Amplify Snack Brands and the Center for Generational Kinetics.

Millennials eat healthfully positioned snacks more often throughout the week than any other generation, according to the study, with more than half of millennials reporting that they ate at least three better-for-you snacks in the past week. In this study, millennials are defined as adults ages 22 to 40.

Here are five insights into millennial snacking behavior and preferences …

1. Taste

girl eating

Of all considerations for snacks, taste is the top priority among millennials. Nearly nine in 10 millennials (89%) say taste is important when choosing a snack, followed by ability to satisfy hunger (75%), quality ingredients (67%), health (63%) and portability (54%), according to the study.

Also, almost eight in 10 millennials (78%) describe better-for-you snack products as tasting the same or better than traditional packaged snacks.

2. Ingredients


More than any other generation, the majority of millennials (64%) believe that fewer ingredients indicate that a snack is healthier or better for you. In particular, trans fats, added sugars and artificial sweeteners are the least tolerated better-for-you-snack ingredients among this generation, the study shows.

3. Positive attributes


Compared to other generations, more millennials want to see organic and responsibly sourced ingredients, omega-3's and environmentally friendly packaging promoted on a snack package. These things would encourage them to choose one snack over another, according to the study.

More millennials than other generations also seek out gluten-free, allergen-free and vegan labels on better-for-you-snack packages.

4. Social media


More than two-fifths of millennials (41%) have tried a better-for-you snack because of an online rating or review. Nearly as many millennials (37%) have tried a healthful snack because of a social media post from another person, according to the study. These figures are higher than that of any other generation, illustrating the influence social media has on millennial snacking.

5. Next generation

kids family mom

Millennials' better-for-you-snack behavior is consistent when they’re purchasing snacks for their children. More than a fifth of millennial moms (21%) purchased three new types of healthful snacks in the past month, compared to 14% of Gen X moms.

The children of millennials will learn from their parents’ snacking behaviors, the study suggests. More than half of millennial moms (55%) say their kids are more likely to choose a better-for-you snack over another packaged snack.