Solo Shoppers Love Snacking

Single-​person households in the U.S. are 38 million strong and growing, which stands to reason why this group has an impact on snacking in terms of eating behaviors, packaging, and marketing, reports The NPD Group. The growth in snack foods being consumed at meal time is largely driven by people who are eating those meals by themselves, according to NPD‰Ûªs recently released Snacking in America report.

In 2014 annual eatings per capita of snack foods consumed at meal times among solo diners reached 191 compared to 167 in 2011, which stretched across the U.S. population represents a difference of billions of eating occasions. Similar to larger households, health and weight management is among the key motivations to eat snack foods at meals for solo diners, particularly better-​for-​you snack foods, finds NPD. Tying into the rise of single-​person homes, the most common over-​indexing motivator cited across the better-​for-​you categories was the fact it came in a single-​serve package.

Like a majority of other households, single-​person households plan the snack foods that they will be eating at meals ahead of time, typically more than a day before. A significantly smaller amount of eating occasions include a snack food that was planned less than an hour before. Supermarkets tend to be the shopping outlets of choice for snack foods consumed at a meal.

‰ÛÏSmaller household sizes and eating alone are among the growing factors with snacking,‰Û says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. ‰ÛÏFood manufacturers and retailers should think about the unique needs of the solo consumer when developing products and packaging, and marketing messages should be crafted to be relevant to them and their snacking behaviors."

Get your grocery stores and other retailers selling snackable foods to consider single shoppers when advertising with you. AudienceSCAN finds that 26% of consumers are single and have never been married. 56% of them are men. 24% are aged 25–34. They are 93% more likely than average shoppers to be non-​drivers, which could also account for wanting to buy smaller packages and fewer items at the supermarket. 52% are renters. 32% took action after seeing TV spots in the past month. Make sure your advertisers are optimized for mobile: 21.5% of Singles use mobile devices to order food, and 22% are using Mapquest to find their favorite restaurants and food stores!

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.