A new study has found that 55 percent of women snacked more often during COVID-19, outpacing men, where only 30 percent said they found themselves snacking more.
That’s according to new research from Reach3 Insights, which uses chat based methodology to get more authentic insights through both quantitative and qualitative research.
Chips were the leading snack brand for both genders, with 38 percent of women and 33 percent of men reaching for a bag of chips during the pandemic. Younger consumers were also more likely to snack more during COVID-19, as 61 percent of 18-29 year olds snacked more often, followed by 50 percent of 30-39 year olds. Chips again were the most popular snack among 18-29 year olds, at 40 percent, followed by cookies at 20 percent and popcorn at 14 percent.
Additional findings from the research include:
- 1 in 2 Americans reported snacking more often in the wake of the crisis.
- While this was potentially triggered by negative emotions such as stress or boredom, during the crisis Americans who were in a positive mindset snacked more too.
- Those who snacked more during COVID were more likely to have reported trying new brands. Sometimes this was due to value seeking—over 1 in 4 reported trading down to less expensive brands or products more often during COVID.
- Those who reported snacking more were more likely to feel they were eating less healthy overall, and those who snacked less felt more healthy overall.
- Consumers who were eating less healthy were more likely to report feeling anxious, stressed/worried, overwhelmed, pessimistic or bored.
Other takeaways included:
- Increased snacking during COVID-19 is contributing to perceptions of less healthy eating.
- Those feeling like they are eating less healthy were more likely to report feeling anxious, stressed/worried, overwhelmed, pessimistic or bored.
- For those who increased their snacking behavior during the pandemic, chips were a go-to option for many, followed by candy and cookies
- Those whose incomes had been negatively impacted by COVID were more likely to have started snacking more often.
- This group also report an increase in value seeking behaviors such as trading down to less expensive products and brands, buying smaller pack sizes and more private label.