New Research Shows Snacks Becoming a ‘Meal of Choice’

Only 27 percent of Americans today eat three square meals a day, opting to often graze on a variety of snacks instead. Whether at home, at work or on the go, “snack meals” are on the rise.

In revealing that 86 percent of Americans have eaten snacks in place of meals, the new national survey of 2,000 adults (ages 18 and over), commissioned by Farm Rich, also found:

  • The average person today eats two meals and three snacks each day
  • Men more likely to still consume traditional three meals a day
  • Almost half (49 percent) say they replace lunch for snack meals
  • Peak snacking hours are between 1 and 4 p.m.
  • 81 percent consume snacks while at home
  • The average person eats five snack meals each week
  • 45 percent prefer the microwave when preparing heat-and-eat snacks over conventional oven, toaster oven, air or deep fryer

“The growth of digital streaming and desire for quick foods that fuel us have led to an increase in snack consumption, especially at home,” said Shannon Gilreath, Director of Marketing, Farm Rich. “People are no longer feeling bound to the traditional three meals a day, which gives them more variety and time back to do the things they enjoy most, and for many, that doesn’t involve a ton of time in the kitchen, especially on busy days.”

Millennials are most likely to support the idea that “three standard meals a day is a thing of the past,” consuming snacks in place of a meal at least six times a week and eating at least six snacks while on the go during that time. Two in five reach for snacks to fuel them throughout their day, compared to one in five older adults (55 and older). Instead, 60 percent of older adults use snacks to curb cravings.

While 49 percent turn to snack meals due to a lack of time for planning and prep,

  • 35 percent say they eat snack dinners to reduce food waste
  • For 31 percent, snack meals offer more quick variety
  • 33 percent shop the freezer aisle at least once a week

“Snacking gives flexibility to busy families and individuals with untraditional schedules,” Gilreath added. “This shift toward enjoying an all-snack meal or snacks on the go speaks to changing lifestyles, and the grocery freezer is a great resource for foods that offer the ease, long shelf life, variety and sustenance people sometimes need.”

Other findings:
Top 10 Foods That Make Up Small Plates or ‘Snack Meals’

  1. Cheese
  2. Crackers
  3. Fruit
  4. Chips
  5. Nuts
  6. Veggies
  7. Yogurt
  8. Sweets
  9. Pretzels
  10. Frozen Mozzarella Sticks

Top 5 Reasons to Snack

  1. Cravings
  2. Taste/Flavors
  3. Enjoyment
  4. Fuel/Energy
  5. Boredom

The survey was conducted in August 2018 by OnePoll, with a sample of 2,000 adults aged 18+ years. For a short survey video, click here or visit for more information.

SOURCE Farm Rich



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