As the definition of what constitutes snack time diverges from sweet and salty packaged treats, retailers are increasingly highlighting protein snacks. Consumers want healthier and heartier options for their snacks, evident in data from CSP sister research company Technomic, Chicago.

Meaty Snacks

Only 4% of consumers said they consume both beef and pork as a snack, according to the 2019 Beef & Pork Consumer Trend Report from Technomic. This ranks below dinner (86% for beef and 84% for pork), lunch (44% for beef, 31% for pork) and breakfast (5% for beef, 12% for pork). However, there’s room for growth: With consumers regularly snacking throughout the day, heartier, meat-based offerings may satisfy consumers who have less time for meals.


Strong Lifestyles

Thirty-four percent of consumers say they are snacking on healthier foods more today than they were in 2016, and 25% plan to snack more healthfully in the next 12 months, according to Technomic. Health attributes with the greatest appeal include “high in protein” and “energizing.” Nuts—such as almonds, peanuts and cashews—and protein bars fit these descriptions, as do meat and cheese, and retailers have successfully sold these items over the past few years. In fact, nuts and protein bars have gained more traction than packaged snacks and candy in retail, Technomic data shows.