Consumers Worldwide Are Eating More Snacks Than Meals

Mondelēz International releases first State of Snacking survey

a group of girls eating and throwing popcorn
The first-ever State of Snacking Report explores evolving global consumer snacking trends and behaviors. Getty Images
Headshot of Sammy Nickalls

Everyone loves a good snack now and then, but a new survey by Mondelēz International proves that snacking is a lot more important to our culture than we might think.

The 2019 State of Snacking report analyzing global consumer snacking trends and found that 6 in 10 adults “can’t imagine their life without snacks.” That might be because the custom of three meals a day is starting to fall by the wayside, as 59% of adults and 70% of millennials say they prefer to eat many small meals throughout the day instead of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Dirk Van de Put, chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International, said the reasons behind this shift in eating styles range from ease of access to social bonding.

“We see that the average global adult now eats more snacks than meals on a given day, driven by a number of evolving demands largely associated with how we live today, including a growing need for convenience, yearning to share nostalgic and cultural experiences, expanded well-being preferences and the desire for choices that range from wholesome to indulgent,” Van de Put said.

Well over half (68%) of adults also view snacking as a way to “improve their quality of life,” including 76% of adults in developing countries. Additionally, 80% say they like having both healthy and indulgent snacks around, depending on the “moment of need.”

“As the snacking market continues to grow globally, we’re living our purpose to empower people to snack right by constantly learning about the many different ways consumers around the world are snacking and evolving their relationship with food,” Van de Put added.

@sammynickalls Sammy Nickalls is a freelance writer and the former departments editor at Adweek.