Half of Canadians view snacking as healthier than three meals

January 31, 2019

It seems the traditional three meals a day are facing an evolution in Canada, as new research from Mintel reveals that nearly half (46%) of better-for-you (BFY) snackers feel that it is healthier to snack throughout the day than to eat three large meals. In need of constant fuel, many Canadians have snacks at the ready with two-thirds (65%) of BFY snackers believing it’s important to always keep healthy snacks on hand.

Keeping up with their interest in snacking throughout the day, more than half (51%) of Canadians agree that they’d like to see more healthy snacks packaged for eating on the go. What’s more, it seems there’s potential for anything to be considered a snack among younger consumers, as 45% of Canadians aged 18–24 are interested in snack-sized portions of regular foods as compared to 31% overall.

As consumers look to make better choices for themselves, it seems fresh and less processed snacks are coming out on top as fresh fruit and vegetables (84%) are the nation’s top better-for-you snack of choice, followed by cheese (79%), nuts (69%), and popcorn (60%). In fact, Mintel research shows the snack innovation that consumers are most likely to say they would like to see is more products made from fresh ingredients (55%).

While fresh snacks are winning out, younger consumers are placing power in protein to keep them full. Three in 10 (30%) consumers say they eat meat snacks, with younger snackers aged 18–34 the most likely age group to agree (41%). Although just 16% of consumers say they are interested in snack bars made with meat, 32% of men aged 18–34 are keen to see more of this type of offering.

Following the growing flexitarian movement, it seems that plant-based has potential when it comes to better-for-you snacking as three in 10 (29%) consumers say they are interested in snacks made with plant-based protein, rising to four in 10 (39%) among women aged 18–34.

Press release