Study suggests snacks are increasingly replacing meals in India; here’s why

Over 70 per cent of those surveyed in India agreed that they indulge in higher instances of snacking through the day compared to a year ago.

In a new study, snacking has emerged as a global trend, with more and more consumers are opting for snacks over meals. According to the findings of the State of Snacking survey by consumer goods company Mondelez International, Indians are snacking a lot more, sometimes replacing a whole meal with small snacks consumed throughout the day. With The Harris Poll, Mondelez survey researched snacking habits of 6,068 global adults between September 16 to 27, 2019 spanning 12 markets (including Australia, Canada, Russia and China) out of which over 500 consumers were surveyed in India.

Notably, six in 10 adults worldwide (59 per cent) say they prefer to eat many small meals throughout the day, as opposed to a few larger ones, with younger consumers especially leaning into snacks over meals as that number rises to seven in 10 among millennials (70 per cent).

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Over 70 per cent of those surveyed in India agreed that they indulge in higher instances of snacking through the day compared to a year ago; this is far more than the global average of over 22 per cent. And that they plan to snack more often in the next year, the study said. Indians consume 2.70 snacks, compared to 2.37 meals in a day.

Interestingly, most Indians snack mostly in the morning, especially before breakfast (31 per cent). “Indians are habitual snackers, with 77 per cent saying they “tend to snack around the same time each day”. That’s much higher than the global average of 11 per cent.

Interestingly, 77 per cent of Indian adults said that snacking motivation came from the need for “me time” (84 per cent), to relax/calm down/relieve anxiety (84 per cent) and for boosting mood (83 per cent).

Moreover, the study also found that consumers associate food with their local culture. As a result, Indians are “more likely than those in other countries to participate in cultural snacking rituals daily, with three in four Indian adults saying that food is a major part of their identity. Furthermore, seven in 10 say they connect with their culture through the snacks they eat, reflecting the growing prominence of local foods and snacking options that have emerged in the country”.

The study also pointed out how “balanced indulgence is a priority for snackers” with 80 per cent stating that there is a time and place for healthy snacks and separately for indulgent ones. The study also suggested that 78 per cent of Indian adults are seeking organic, nutrient-rich snacks.

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