According to the Chicago-based food industry consulting firm Technomic's 2010 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report, over 80 percent of people surveyed said they snack at least once a day. The Technomic report shows American’s snacking habits are on the rise, with 20% of people reporting that they now snack more frequently than they did two years ago. Eighty percent of respondents reported buying their snacks from non-restaurant retail outlets and the same number said they would like to find more snacks available in more places.
The study suggests the restaurant industry can better position themselves to take advantage of the increasing desire for snacks, which appeal to customers for their convenience, price and smaller portions. The catch is finding a way for pizzerias to take advantage of the snacking trend. Most snacks at pizzerias are currently positioned as appetizers or even separate meals.
Pizzerias can offer pizza where it makes the most sense, like kiosks and shops at malls, or airports and universities. Highly trafficked areas are great for introducing bite-sized or individually packaged portable snacks. Another snacking opportunity is late-night dining, which can allow pizzerias some options to introduce other snack items. Technomic’s report showed that nearly 40% of respondents reported snacking late at night. The foods they preferred at night were desert items like frozen desserts, chips and cookies. Pizzerias could easily add similar items to their pizza menus.
The Technomic report also cited portability as an important convenience factor of snacks and that portable and relatively inexpensive items like pizza-inspired sandwiches could work in that role. In conclusion, Technomic’s report shows that the appeal of snack foods is always focused on giving the customer more options and portion flexibility.