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Convenience stores are five times more likely to be the source for grab-and-go snacks, according to global information company NPD Group. Grab-and-go snacks represent 12% of all snack-oriented convenience foods and are typically eaten between meals, rather than replacing meals. NPD’s SnackTrack, which tracks snack food consumption daily in the U.S., finds that this “on-the-go” snacking behavior typically occurs in the morning or midday and least often in the evening. Young adults ages 18 to 24 are the most inclined toward the instant gratification these types of snacks offer.
NPD’s snacking research also finds that consumers choose a sweet grab-and-go snack twice as often as a salty snack. Chocolate candy/candy bars, gum, donuts, potato chips and chewy candy are among the top grab-and-go snacks consumed. At more than half (61%) of all grab-and-go snacking occasions the consumer is also drinking a beverage with his or her snack, and the top beverages consumed with the snack are carbonated soft drinks and water.
“Grab-and-go snacking represents a sizable opportunity, and manufacturers and retailers can capture a larger share of this ‘buy-and-consume’ behavior by understanding the consumer dynamics that drive these purchases,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “Manufacturers need to incorporate grab-and-go snacking as part of their go-to-market strategy, particularly when developing plans for the convenience store outlet. Retailers might consider rotating the types of items stocked near the entrance or check-out counter to align with the grab-and-go snacker’s need by time of day.”