FMCG Gurus reports in new research that 88 percent of consumers in the U.S. say they snack, largely due to skipping meals throughout the day. 

The research firm conducted a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers in the first quarter of 2019. The survey revealed hunger is still the main reason why consumers snack, as reported by five in 10 respondents. Hunger is closely followed by indulgence (37 percent) and seeking energy (36 percent).

Mid-afternoon is the main time when people (47 percent) choose to snack. This is a time of day when consumers will seek indulgence, as factors such as the need for energy, the desire for escapism and the need to cure boredom have an influence on product choice. 

So what products are consumers snacking on? FMCG Gurus research shows 72 percent of respondents snack on fruit, followed by chocolate (61 percent) and yogurt (64 percent).

When it comes to consumers choosing what products to buy, they can be very cautious about the sugar content. Consumers recognize the link between excessive sugar intake and rising levels of obesity. Looking at yogurt, 50 percent of consumers are conscious about the sugar content. This is the highest of the three most popular snacking options in the U.S.

The concern toward sugar intake has made people more willing to pay a premium price for products with claims of zero sugar. Over 40 percent of consumers are willing to pay a premium price for yogurt with zero sugar claims, and half of consumers would pay more for zero-sugar chocolate. 

More than half of consumers say they are more likely to snack at home compared to outside the home. This dispels the myth that snacking is driven by time scarcity and consumers eating away from home more frequently.