U.S. Consumers Turn to More Indulgent Treats for Comfort During COVID Crisis and Make Sure They Have Plenty On Hand

Share Article

U.S. consumers have historically turned to indulgent snack foods for comfort during challenging times, but this behavior has heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Snack food consumption increased by +8% during the pandemic, and consumers are making sure they have plenty treats on hand, reports The NPD Group.

“We’ve seen consumers turn to indulgent snack foods in other challenging times, and although history isn’t repeating itself during the COVID crisis, it is rhyming,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst.

U.S. consumers have historically turned to snack foods for comfort and enjoyment during challenging times, like the Great Recession, but this behavior has been heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic, reports The NPD Group. Given both the economic and well-being stressors related to COVID-19, indulgent snacking is playing an even more important role during these current challenging times. Snack food consumption has increased by +8% during the pandemic as consumers seek comfort through savory and sweet snacks, according to NPD’s Snack Food Behaviors in Challenging Times study. During the Great Recession, between 2008 and 2010, snack foods increased by 4.8 billion eatings, a +1% increase.

In April, during the height of the shelter-at-home orders, 37% of consumers told NPD they wanted to make sure they had sufficient snack foods on hand. They were well-stocked on salty snacks and frozen sweets more than other items. Also, in many cases, the more snack food packages in the home, the more frequently the item is consumed, which tends to be especially true of certain types of snack foods. For example, consumers who have five or more packages of crackers or salty snacks consume those foods at higher rates than consumers with fewer packages in their home.

“We’ve seen consumers turn to indulgent snack foods in other challenging times, and although history isn’t repeating itself during COVID, it is rhyming,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “Although we can’t predict what’s going to happen in the future, I think it’s safe to say snack food manufacturers and retailers can expect elevated snack food usage while COVID-19 restricts our restaurant usage and overall movement, in particular school closings and work from home orders.”
-30-

About The NPD Group, Inc.
NPD offers data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help our clients grow their businesses in a changing world. Over 2,000 companies worldwide on us to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar and e-commerce. We have offices in 27 cities worldwide, with operations spanning the Americas, Europe, and APAC. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, books, B2B technology, consumer technology, e-commerce, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, juvenile products, media entertainment, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, toys, video games, and watches. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Kim McLynn
Visit website