US Snack Index: Snacking as an art, not an act

The Index​​ confirms what many of us are feeling: that there are simply not enough hours in the day. In fact, 80% of Americans have just 30 minutes to prepare and enjoy meals, which is less time than their average work commute and favourite TV show. This burden is most acutely felt by younger generations (85%) – and with no sign of letting up – 60% of consumers expect these demands to increase in the new year. 

Therefore, the Index’s first trend is the Time Crunch Dilemma​, which further blurs the line between snacking and meals.

In 2024, Americans will shun hours spent marinating, chopping, roasting and plating in favour of the ‘no-prep dinner’ rooted in favourite snack products.

“While our most recent Snack Index confirms that time is scarce, the data also reinforces that consumers are fiercely passionate about their food preferences​,” said Denise Lefebvre, senior vice president of R&D for PepsiCo Foods.​

“Frito-Lay and Quaker have a tremendous opportunity to continue meeting the evolving needs of our consumers. As we look to 2024, it has never been more important for us to infuse that inspiration with innovation, delivering on our promise of more smiles with every bite.” 

A dash to dine: According to the Index, the average American has only 52 total minutes per day to prepare, eat and enjoy their meals. One-third report having even less time, scraping together less than 30 minutes a day to prep and enjoy meals.  

Snacks move to centre plate: More consumers are integrating their favourite snack products into meals, up 35% over previous years. Once a week, more than 50% proudly use snacks as a key ingredient in no-prep dinners, while more than one-third seize this opportunity multiple times a week.