Plano-based Frito-Lay and Quaker release their fifth annual U.S. snack predictions

Photo provided by Frito-Lay.
Americans are focused on speed, snacking, #GirlDinner and packing in the protein, Frito-Lay/Quaker's U.S. Snack Index reports.

Frito-Lay and Quaker have released their 2024 snack trend predictions in their fifth annual U.S. Snack Index. Here’s what they found: Americans are seeking ways to navigate burnout, and lack of time to prepare and enjoy meals is on everyone’s mind. 

With 80% of Americans feeling like their days have fewer hours and 85% of younger generations feeling the same way, there just never seems to be enough hours in the day. According to Frito-Lay and Quaker’s report, 60% of Americans expect time-constraining demands to increase in the new year. So, the company figures, forget hours of marinating, chopping roasting and baking. Here’s the top three foodie trends that Frito-Lay and Quaker think we will see in 2024.

  1. Speed – The average American only has 52 minutes per day to prepare, eat and enjoy their meals. One-third say they have only 30 minutes per day to prepare and enjoy their food.
    • Snacks galore – Integrating snacks into meals is up 35% over previous years. Once per week, over half of consumers proudly use snacks as a key ingredient in no-prep dinners. More than one-third do this multiple times per week, the report says.
    • #GirlDinner < #SnackDinner – While we all came to know and love (or hate) the Girl Dinner trend of snack-focused meals, the Frito-Lay/Quaker report shows that 92% of men and 93% of women use snack foods as meals, 36% of which do so more frequently this year than in past years.
  2. Snack Savants – Frito-Lay and Quaker say that self-proclaimed Snack Savants will trend this year, with Millennials (83%) and Gen Z (82%) embracing the title more than other generations, 77% of which are city dwellers.
    • Snack Savants will make it an art. 80% of respondents agreed that creating the perfect bite is an art form.
  3. Snacking for satisfaction – Don’t get scared yet, health-forward readers. Snacks don’t have to be Doritos. The report says snacking in 2024 will likely be centered around the importance of purpose, protein and packing a punch.
    • Compared to previous years, an overwhelming 79% of consumers admit it’s more critical than ever for protein to take center stage – especially true for those most crunched on time (80%).
    • At least once a week, 60% of consumers look to their favorite snack products to provide energy. Millennials (72%) are by far the generation most in need of a pick-me-up, compared to Gen Z (62%), Gen X (61%) and Baby Boomers (46%). Parents have everyone beat, with 72% leveraging snacks for energy.

“While our most recent Snack Index confirms that time is scarce, the data also reinforces that consumers are fiercely passionate about their food preferences,” said Denise Lefebvre, senior vice president of R&D for PepsiCo Foods. “Frito-Lay and Quaker have a tremendous opportunity to continue meeting the evolving needs of our consumers. As we look to 2024, it has never been more important for us to infuse that inspiration with innovation, delivering on our promise of more smiles with every bite.”

The study was conducted between Dec. 6-12 using a national sample of 2,000 nationally-representative U.S. adults aged 18 and up. The data has been weighted to ensure an accurate representation of the U.S. adult population. 

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