Facebook IQ Shared Some Research for You to Snack On

The traditional meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner are more frequently being bypassed by snacks

Feel like noshing? Facebook IQ

New research from Facebook IQ may tempt you to reach for a snack.

The social network’s research arm examined food-related trends on Facebook and Instagram, and it found that the traditional meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner are more frequently being bypassed by snacks.

Facebook IQ’s findings included:

  • Use of the #snack hashtag on Facebook grew 20 percent more than use of overall hashtags on Facebook in the U.S. from July 2016 through July 2017.
  • 63 percent of U.S. consumers snack in place of meals.
  • 84 percent of U.S. consumers snack between meals.
  • The number of people who purchased groceries online between 2014 and 2016 and would do so again more than doubled.
  • One out of five U.S. consumers are interested in trying meal kits, such as Blue Apron and Plated.
  • On average, for each layer of convenience added to the food purchase journey, people are willing to pay up to 11 percent more.
  • People are beginning to think of cooking as a leisure activity, rather than believing that they have to cook.
  • Most Facebook posts about cooking in the U.S. occurred on Sundays, and #SundayDinner was one of the top 15 hashtags among users discussing cooking.

Facebook IQ also provided the following takeaways for marketers in the food sector:

  • Create the occasion: When planning media, keep in mind that snacking has broadened people’s tastes and that any moment can be a snackable moment, particularly for traditional mealtime foods. This allows marketers to explore and even create new occasions for consuming and purchasing food.
  • Acknowledge conflicting needs: People have differing food prep needs throughout the week. On one hand, they increasingly want to solve for convenience with delivery applications and online shopping. On the other, they want to give cooking the time—and pleasure—that it deserves, especially on the weekend. It’s important for marketers to understand exactly where their brand falls on the convenience/leisure spectrum and be attuned to the right moment to serve up the core positioning when it will be most relevant to consumers.
  • Stay top-of-mind in a sea of trends: When it comes to food, people are embracing variety: Today there are more meals, products, cuisines and diets than before. It’s therefore increasingly important for marketers to identify the most receptive audience and stay on top of emerging shifts in food culture to shape business and marketing strategy.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.