As employees return to the workplace, a third (33%) of snacking consumers admit to eating more when people aren’t around, according to a new study commissioned by Glanbia Nutritionals.
The survey of 2,000 consumers found that 49% of those who snack are more likely to choose a healthy product at home than outside of home (10%) and in the workplace (10%). Nearly half (49%) of hybrid workers (working both at home and in the office) said they will be conscious of what they eat to stay healthy while hybrid working.
Of those working in a hybrid pattern, a quarter (25%) said they would eat more snacks as meal replacements, while 31% agreed they’d choose more on-the-go snacks as a result of their working routine.
However, those who eat ‘healthy’ snacks have different views on what is important depending on their age group: ‘low in calories’ topped the charts for Gen Z (25% of 16 – 24 year olds) while the over 55s look for ‘low/no sugar’ (36%). Protein is a priority for millennials (25- 34 year olds), with 18% looking for protein-rich healthy snacks.
Women who snack are more likely to do so for reasons other than nutrition: over half of UK consumers (54%) admit to snacking when they are bored – rising to 62% for women. 41% of men and 53% of women use snacks as a reward or to treat themselves.
Stress is another key factor for females who snack, with 46% of women claiming to use snacks to cope with frustration, compared to just 26% of men. This has been the primary driver for a rise in demand from brands for solutions such as neuro-enhancing adaptogens, with over half of 25-44 years stating that they find ingredients with calming effects appealing.
Director of Global Insights at Glanbia Nutritionals, a leading supplier of nutritional solutions to food producers, Ludi Marché said: “Consumer choices have been hugely impacted by the overhaul in our daily lives caused by the pandemic, and brands should take note that the ‘new normal’ is impacting snacking habits once again. This presents an opportunity for food manufacturers to diversify their portfolio and customer base through added nutritional ingredients.
“According to our insights, functional snacks for energy, focus, and relaxation are increasingly trending with consumers, particularly in the form of bars and ready-to-drink beverages. Adding a custom nutrient premix is an effective way to incorporate healthy nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals into a snack food.”
Glanbia Nutritionals provides nutritional solutions to food brands including proteins, custom premix solutions, plant-based nutrition, bioactive ingredients and cheese.
 Survey of 2,001 consumers in the UK, conducted by Opinion Matters in June 2021
 Source: Mintel, Consumer Snacking: Inc Impact of Covid-19 – UK – July 2020