Snacking replacing meals for many people

snackingAre you replacing a meal with a snack or a series of them? If yes, you aren't alone.

A study released this week by food industry research firm Technomic shows that more than half of consumers snack at least once a day. About one-fifth of consumers are snacking more frequently now ,and more than one-third are going the healthy snack way. Roughly three-quarters (74%) of snacking takes place at home. Although the majority of consumers still prefer to snack at home, those between the ages of 18-24 are more likely to splurge outside.

"Growing snack consumption and the consumer's broadening perception of what constitutes a snack are changing how operators and manufacturers should position this category, " said Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Technomic, in a press release. "The greatest opportunities likely exist for packaged snacks and prepared offerings at retail locations and limited-service restaurants although many full-service concepts seem to have room to market snacks as well."

So, what does this mean for you and me? For one, menu offerings could change in the future. Instead of large meals, the industry might shift gears and concentrate more on getting smaller bites on the menu. The trend is already starting to show. McDonald's expanded its popular Snack Wrap recently, while KFC is going all out promoting its Boneless Fillet.

The good news is the smaller portions are not just good for your health, but also your wallet.

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