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Food for Thought: Staying Up to Date on Snack Trends

Food for Thought: Staying Up to Date on Snack Trends

With the average number of snacks eaten per person per day rising from 2.1 in 2009 to 3.2 in 2015, it’s time to take a closer look at what guests munch on between meals (and as a substitute for them). Susan Wasco, marketing director for Kellogg’s Specialty Channels, provides the latest on snack trends, how to maximize profits, and more.

What are the keys to offering the right snack mix?
Have the food forms and brands that consumers want. You’re going to find that within key snack categories, relatively few brands drive most of the consumption. If customers don’t find their favorite brands, up to 75 percent of them will leave without buying anything. Once you have the brands customers want in place, carry the strongest assortment of proven products, flavors, and sizes.

What are some of the biggest snack trends today?
Healthy snacking is trending, and there are many reasons for people to snack healthier, as well as different products to address different needs. However, no matter why people snack, the one attribute that outweighs nutrition on consumers’ minds is taste. Therefore, when you’re selecting healthy snacks to offer, it’s important not to sacrifice flavor, or customers will not buy it. Also, the gluten-free trend is still very much alive. Consumers go gluten free for different reasons. Being mindful of the trend and catering to this audience with products is essential to keeping your snack program up to date.

How can properties maximize sales and profits with snacks all day long?
Operators should present items where they will be seen and chosen most easily—right when your customer is ready to buy. For example, snack bars are great with coffee, tea, and almost any other beverage, so display these snacks near the coffee station or beverage cooler.

Maximize every square foot of the area for best results. Keep in mind that most snack purchases are planned, but some are made on impulse. Have a wide assortment strategically placed for purchases on a whim. The check-in desk or cashier counter presents an opportunity to tempt customers with a sweet treat for later in the day. Display items such as cookies or crackers, which people can easily throw in their bags.

Leveraging promotions will help operators achieve sales in a competitive world. Give guests a reason to snack right in the hotel rather than walk to the nearest convenience store or restaurant. Hotels have convenience on their side—they’re right there when people are hungry. The right product mix at the right price/promotion will entice customers and give them a reason to stay.

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