Consumers in Atlanta Are Snacking More Than Ever, Especially Salty Snacks

snack vending machines in Atlanta

People are busier than ever. And they are eating more frequently in shorter amounts of time. So it’s no surprise that snacking has become part of just about everyone’s lifestyle in Atlanta.

In an effort to understand this consumer trend, Mintel, the research firm, surveyed consumers on their snacking habits and found that salty snacks have become the new comfort food.

Three in five (62 percent) of consumers are eating salty snacks as a stress reliever, compared to 16 percent a year ago. What’s more, 30 percent eat salty snacks when they are bored, with half (51 percent) agreeing that salty snacking is a good way to relieve boredom compared to 25 percent who said this a year ago.

“Consumption of salty snacks is largely driven by emotion, including stress and boredom,” says Amanda Topper, senior food analyst at Mintel. “Consumers are looking for ways to manage their wellbeing, and the impact of food on emotional and mental health is becoming more important.”

This is especially true for parents, the majority of whom say salty snacks relieve stress. “Not only do parents’ hectic lifestyles force them to snack while on the go, but the majority who buy salty snacks agree that snacking throughout the day is a healthy alternative to regular meals,” Topper says. “Brands that highlight health and wellness benefits can appeal to parents that are often buying snacks that can be consumed by themselves and their children.”

Parents are increasingly likely to snack on salty options while on the go (41 percent say they do this), at work (36 percent) and throughout the day (34 percent). Parents are more likely than non-parents to see snacking as a stress reliever (73 percent versus 55 percent).

snack vending machines in AtlantaFifty-eight percent of parents say it’s healthier to snack throughout the day than eat regular meals (compared to 21 percent of non-parents).

As much as they like salty snacks, consumers aren’t any less interested in eating what’s good for them. Mintel found that three quarters (74 percent) of consumers are interested in healthier salty snacking options.

Three in five consumers (61 percent) say salty snacks have too many artificial ingredients, while four in five (79 percent) find it important to be able to recognize the ingredients in salty snacks.

What’s more, 58 percent of salty snack purchasers agree that it is important to buy salty snacks that contain only a few ingredients.

But when it comes to snacks, nothing is more important than taste.

Three in five consumers agree that taste is more important than how healthy a salty snack is. A new flavor (38 percent) is the most influential purchasing factor for salty snackers, along with spicy flavor (30 percent) and limited-edition/seasonal flavor (22 percent).

Which is not to say that taste and health are polarizing Americans. Four in five (82 percent) agree that salty snacks can be both healthy and tasty.

“While consumers are concerned about ingredients and express interest in seeing healthier options on shelves, they still want to indulge, and flavor is a highly motivating factor. Brands that focus on products with bold, new flavors that incorporate simple ingredients will offer the best of both worlds to consumers,” says Topper.

Looking for a variety of snacks for your Atlanta breakroom? Call Eagle Vending today at (770) 426-1969 for a free no-obligation consultation of your breakroom needs.

Market Effectively to Millennials by Appealing to Their Emotions, Survey Says

Coffee isn’t just a way to caffeinate in the morning throughout Atlanta. For millennials, office coffee service in Atlantaselecting coffee is an emotional experience. The social and environmental effects are vitally important to millennials. While freshness and affordability are still important, a new survey shows that millennials are emotionally connected to coffee’s history.

What the survey says

According to an online survey (of more than 900 millennials), “The language millennials use and the attitudes they have indicate that they are deeply connected to coffee on an emotional level.” The study was conducted by Datassential (a Chicago-based foodservice research firm) and published by custom coffee roaster S&D Coffee & Tea, who added, “For them, coffee is not just a drink, it’s an experience.”

The opinions of millennials are important because they are current and future consumers. John Buckner, S&D Vice President of Marketing says, “The magnitude of this generation [millennials] is such that we know their attitude toward coffee will significantly impact our customer’s growth for years to come; we’re excited about being able to better understand their preferences and perceptions and how those evolve over time.”

The survey results indicate a strong preference for knowing how the coffee they drink is grown and harvested. As a result, sustainability determines if millennials will buy coffee in most situations. How is the coffee helping socially, environmentally, and economically? In other words, millennials believe in being smart consumers, whether that’s branded coffee or brewed at home.

If you want to reach millennials, offer sustainably sourced coffee. The study said, “Sustainable sourcing is a consistently powerful term whose influence extends beyond just improved perceptions around an operation’s coffee offerings.”

About 45% of millennials feel better about places that offer sustainably-sourced coffee. This was most important to them, even above Fair Trade Certification, USDA organic, locally-sourced, direct trade coffees. Additionally, more than a quarter would go out of their way to obtain sustainably-sourced coffee. The “vast majority” of millennials would also “be willing to pay a small premium for coffee that is sustainably sourced,” the survey stated.

Interestingly, only 22% of millennials knew the exact definition and specific requirements necessary to qualify as sustainable.

office coffee service in Atlanta

What the survey means for your office coffee service in Atlanta

When offering coffee to millennials at your Atlanta breakroom, it’s clearly effective to use coffee that sustainably sourced. Yet, the survey noted that it has a chance of backlash. If the consumer thinks it’s being used insincerely, they may avoid it altogether. “Use of coffee terms as mere labels will render them powerless to sharp-eyed millennials who are increasingly skeptical of unsupported language,” the survey noted. Choose your coffee with caution and wisdom. Do you believe that the coffee brand is sustainably sourced? If not, then millennials probably don’t either.

Slightly over 40% of consumers associate organic with sustainable, the study found, with a little over 30% associating sustainable with Fair Trade Certified or environmentally-friendly harvesting practices. Only 22% associate sustainable with better taste and even fewer (only 15%) associating it with better aroma. Environmental factors were also more important than labor practices and social impact.

Best solution for you

If millennials are drawn to sustainable sourcing, the coffee you offer in your Atlanta breakroom must be truthful. Furthermore, there needs to be easily accessible specifics about the chosen coffee brand. If “sustainable sourcing” is just slapped onto the coffee, millennials may see it as dishonest. Thus, there must be proof of “sustainable sourcing” or it will be worthless. If the coffee says it is “sustainably sourced,” along with other well-known labels, it will make millennials trust the coffee offered. In fact, having a list of what makes coffee “sustainably sourced” in a millennial workforce breakroom might be powerful when paired with a coffee that is truly sustainably sourced. Essentially, be honest and transparent when appealing to millennials’ coffee needs, and they will love your coffee.

If you are looking for office coffee to offer in your Atlanta breakroom, call Eagle Vending today at 770-426-1969 for a free, no obligation consultation, where we can help you with your breakroom needs.