Impulse snack purchases goes down because of the shift to e-commerce.

March 22, 2019

Research from Euromonitor International have that found consumers are making fewer unplanned, impulse snack purchases in the last five years because of the shift to e-commerce. As this has promoted less frequent shopping trips. When consumers do physically walk into a brick and mortar store, the growing prepared foods section is squarely placed to capture their attention from snack zones like the centre aisle and checkout displays. 

The research from Euromonitor shows millennial and Generation Z is the most likely to shop online, making the future of impulse snacking uncertain.  

Online grocery sales are forecast to reach $100 billion by as early as 2022, and 70% of shoppers will at least occasionally shop for groceries online by that time, according to the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen.

But that’s not to say consumers don’t like snacks. According to market research firm IRI, sales in snacking rose to $89 billion in 2016, posting an annual growth rate of 3%. Nielsen found the growth has not been confined to just one area, with all individual snacking categories posting sales increases — led by bars, jerky, cookies and crackers — from 2013 to 2016. In fact, for younger generations, snacking has begun to replace the three-square-meals-a-day model.

According to a report from Packaged Facts, members of Gen Z are more likely than millennials to snack between meals and prepare simple meals when they slow down enough to do so.

Millennials and Gen Z are no longer as interested in an indulgent treat when they snack. Now, snacks are more meant as sustenance and a way to nourish the body, as evidenced by the rising demand for organic, plant-based and natural foods without additives. There is now a new challenge: prepared foods. Prepared foods serve as a direct competitor to snacks because they not only keep shoppers in the outer aisles, but they present an opportunity to quickly pick up a restaurant-quality full meal with no assembly required.

With consumers moving to prepared foods aisles and online shopping, companies are beginning to invest more heavily in their digital presence

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