From Munch to Lunch — Why Snacking May Be the Next Great Feast

Posted November 26, 2019 by Alyssa Stahr

Are three meals a day — breakfast, lunch and dinner — a thing of the past? Sure, we’ve all been known to indulge in a few snacks in between meals (midnight pizza, anyone?) but something that was once a guilty pleasure is turning into a better-for-us norm. Snacking is becoming such a world of its own that multinational food company Mondelez recently released its first-ever global report, The State of Snacking, taking a closer look at our love of snacking, cultural importance and personal choice of brands.

The report found that six in 10 adults worldwide now prefer small meals and “could not imagine their lives without snacks.” After all, snacks have been a part of our everyday lives, from road trip gas station stops, to pre-Thanksgiving munchies to popcorn at the movies. However, snacks have traditionally been saddled with a negative connotation. Who hasn’t been told not to tide themselves over before dinner with a snack, as to not ruin it? The term couch potato may refer to a vegetable, but my mind shifts to slipping my hands into a bag of chips while “vegging out,” not necessarily a healthier option.

Why are consumers shifting to snacking as the standard? Mondelez’s respondents answered in a variety of ways:

  • About half said snacks better suit their lifestyles; the number went up for millennial respondents
  • Almost three-quarters said snacking helps them get through the day, providing an “essential break in busy days” or a chance to slow down
  • Over half said they look forward to snacks more than meals. Snacks are more personal, while meals are a means to satisfy
  • Childhood memories are recalled when snacking. Eight of 10 parents surveyed had a desire to pass on health snack traditions to their children
  • 82% of millennials surveyed views snacking as a way to connect across cultures
  • Three-quarters said they would sacrifice diet goals to share snacks with a loved one
  • Snacks comfort, energize and help us to relax or control hunger, and half of the respondents want snacks to become more functional and personalized for nutritional needs; sustainability was also a concern

We at Brightly Creative lean more toward the nutritious value of snacking (OK, three out of four of us), and we’ve compiled our favorites:

Jonathan Galbreath: I like roasted, salted Nori because I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and prefer savory snacks. Gimme Big Sheets of Roasted Seaweed, Sea Salt — Thrive Market is a favorite. I eat mostly vegetarian, including no fish, and the flavor of the Nori reminds me of sushi. It’s fairly healthy and low calorie, portion controlled. It also reminds me of my trips to my favorite country, Japan. 

Alison Wuebbels: I have two: Dilly Bites from Oh Snap! Pickling Co. is kind of a big dill. I first spotted Oh Snap!’s sliced pickles at a gas station on one of our multiple work road trips last year. Now, when you buy a gas station pickle, you know what you are getting yourself into, but boy was I wrong! Oh Snap!’s pickles are a perfect combination of crunchy, delicious and healthy! There is no added brine, so there’s less mess and they just make you feel better than stained yellow bagged pickles you see elsewhere. From gas stations to airport stores, they are my go-to snacks. White Cheddar Popcorn by Smartfood: this popcorn is my lifeline. I am practicing intermittent fasting, which means I eat for eight hours and fast for 16 hrs. This has changed my meal schedule and the way I snack. Smartfood’s air-popped popcorn is tossed in delicious white cheddar cheese for a quick, tasty snack I can grab by the handful. Flavors range from Flamin’ Hot to Caramel & Cheddar Mix to Sour Cream & Onion.

Keith Seiz: I’m a whole food eater, so my snacking tends to be simple. I love Seapoint Farms’ Dry Roasted Edamame Spicy Wasabi for a salty and spicy snack. I also dig the crunch. For something sweeter, Sunsweet’s Pitted Dates are also great and better than candy.

Alyssa Stahr: My No. 1 craving is Nacho Cheese Doritos. I can’t buy a bag because I will eat the entire thing in one sitting. They don’t sell them in Europe, so when a friend from America came to visit when I lived there last year, that was my one request! If I want to be healthy, I always try to buy white seedless grapes or strawberries to snack on in the house. 

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