The New Normal: Grab & Go

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Three meals per day? Not anymore! Americans have started to snack all day, foregoing that age-old rule. The state of the foodservice industry is being largely influenced by millennials (those born in the early ‘80s – early 2000s), who have a tendency to snack on small portions every few hours rather than sitting down to three big meals. Increases in single-person households along with the hectic lives of two-career families may also be to blame. A recent survey found that 48% of Americans skipped meals at least three times per week. Because of this, menus will need to incorporate grab-and-go concepts that consist of salty snacks like chips, pretzels and crackers that better appeal to the on-the-move consumer.

Sixty-three percent of consumers buy salty snacks on impulse to satisfy a craving. Use this to your advantage during the holidays by serving salty snacks with a dip for an appetizer or use them to add unique flavors to holiday entrées. For example, bulk snacks like crushed chips can create a crunchy batter for a main fish or chicken dish. Or, sprinkle crushed salty snacks on top of a dessert for a creative topping. Many salty snacks are also naturally gluten-free.

To capitalize on snacking customers that are on-the-go all year-round, offer options that drive impulse sales. Keep an assortment of salty snacks prominently displayed near the purchase point, which contributes to last-minute buys. Or, create additional value by bundling salty snacks with a sandwich and drink.