If it seems as if every food advertisement contains a different claim about U.S eating trends, it is because they do. Many marketing tactics use generalizations that are not completely true or that take niche trends and apply them to the general population. This leaves snack sellers trying to decipher between marketing speak and actual consumer demand. Here are some common food myths we’ve all heard.
One common claim is that Americans are too busy to sit down and eat, preferring instead to snack on the go. Research shows that this claim simply is not true. Most people still consume meals in the morning, afternoon and evening to correspond with traditional meal times. However, they are opting to include more snack foods into their meals, such as fruit, granola bars, chips, yogurt, bagels, cookies and crackers. According to the NPD Group, 41.1 percent of snacks were consumed with a meal in 2013. That reveals that what consumers classify as a snack is actually converting into begin considered a food.
While most people eat between three and four snacks daily, that number has not seen an increase in the past 25 years. It is true that the types of snacks have changed, but the frequency of consuming them has not. However, there are certain periods of life when snacking increase. For example, as youths transition into young adult, their snacking tends to increase slightly. These niche trends however cannot be accurately applied to a broader consumer base.
This common assumption is both a myth and a fact. The truth is that consumers do not typically choose healthy snack options. However, they choose healthier snack options that they did 30 years ago. The most preferred snacks eaten between meals are candy, fruit, gum, chips and breath mints. There has been a significant increase in healthier options such as fruit, nuts, yogurt and granola bars. An interesting study examined whether healthy product packaging affected consumer purchasing decisions. It found that only a third of people make purchasing decision based on a healthy label.