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Early afternoon is chocolate time

Snacking habits reveal that consumers aim to eat healthily but stray from their intentions as the day progresses. Fruit and vegetables, cereal bars, and yoghurt are more commonly snacked on in the morning while crisps, chocolate, and cake are increasingly consumed in the afternoon and evening, Canadean survey reveals.

Healthy snacking is prominent in the morning
Led by the media, commentary on public health and obesity concerns is increasing, and as consumers are overwhelmed with information they intend to eat a healthy diet. These intentions manifest in the morning with consumers actively choosing healthy snacks. According to a new survey, of the participants that snacked, fruit and vegetables, cereal bars and yoghurt are the most common snacks in the morning.

Rising stress levels lead to unhealthy snacking in the afternoon and evening

Snacking habits change as the day progresses. Consumers’ stress levels rise later into the day causing them to seek escapism and relaxation. Snacking on indulgent or nostalgic treats aids this for many consumers, helping them to achieve a sense of reward and comfort. 
Chocolate, crisps and savory snacks are most commonly consumed later in the day; with 80% of consumers who snack on chocolate bars doing so in the afternoon or evening. This consumption pattern is especially common in office environments where the convenience of snacking products and rising levels of stress and boredom go hand in hand to encourage unhealthy snacking.

Effective positioning of snacks will boost consumption
Marketers need to ensure that products are effectively positioned to target consumers’ desire to snack healthily in the morning and indulge in the afternoon. Kirsty Nolan, Analyst at Canadean, says: “There are emerging opportunities for marketers to target healthier snacks for afternoon consumption by focusing on the indulgence offered and keeping health as a secondary benefit to the consumer.”
The success of effective positioning can be seen across the market. As an example, Belvita Breakfast Biscuits targeted for morning consumption have rapidly increased sales through positioning as a healthy, convenient, breakfast alternative or morning snack. Similarly, Galaxy chocolate has positioned itself as an indulgent treat that allows consumers to escape momentarily.

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