As the number of single-person households in the U.S. continues to grow, so does their impact on snacking. Snack foods being consumed at meal time has become quite common, mainly among consumers who are eating those meals by themselves, such as those in single-person households, according to the Snacking in America report, which was released recently by the NPD Group.
The NPD Group has reported that the 38 million single-person households in the U.S. are having a significant impact on snacking behaviors, packaging and marketing.
In 2014 annual eatings per capita of snack foods consumed at meal times among solo diners reached 191 compared to 167 in 2011, which stretched across the U.S. population represents a difference of billions of eating occasions. Similar to larger households, health and weight management is among the key motivations to eat snack foods at meals for solo diners, particularly better-for-you snack foods, finds NPD. Tying into the rise of single-person homes, the most common over-indexing motivator cited across the better-for-you categories was the fact it came in a single-serve package.
Like a majority of other households, single-person households plan the snack foods that they will be eating at meals ahead of time, typically more than a day before. A significantly smaller amount of eating occasions include a snack food that was planned less than an hour before. Supermarkets tend to be the shopping outlets of choice for snack foods consumed at a meal.
“Smaller household sizes and eating alone are among the growing factors with snacking,” said Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “Food manufacturers and retailers should think about the unique needs of the solo consumer when developing products and packaging, and marketing messages should be crafted to be relevant to them and their snacking behaviors.”