Snacking in the morning, snacking in the evening, snacking at suppertime. Almost one-quarter of all snacks are eaten at meal times, according to research from NPD Group.

The study found that consumers aren’t adding snack times to their schedules. Rather, they’re incorporating more snacks into their regular meals. Of the 12 billion snack purchases made at food service outlets and restaurants, 23% occur in the morning, 48% happen at lunchtime, and 30% are in the evening.    

Millennials and Gen Z are the main consumers advancing this trend. This is because the younger generations don’t mind eating alone, and snack foods like fruit and yogurt are quick, low-cost items that are frequently on the menu at meal times, most likely lunch.

NPD projects that per capita consumption of snacks at meal times will jump 12% by 2024.

Source: NPD: Snack Foods Are Increasingly Consumed At Main Meals and Gen Zs and Millennials Will Drive This Trend Over the Next Decade

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