EMERYVILLE, Calif. (Business Wire) — Despite decades of difference, women ages 19 to 59 all have one thing in common: during the next ten years, snacking will drive their food intake and become an accepted nutritional practice in their daily life. This forecast comes from The Power of Snacking: The Next Decade of Women’s Changing Nutrition1, the first-ever forecast study sponsored by LUNA, the maker of whole nutrition bars for women, and authored by the Institute for the Future (IFTF), an independent non-profit strategic research group. This forward-looking research examines women’s changing mindsets around snacking, the underlying driving forces, and the roadmap for how, when and why women will choose snacking over meals for themselves and their families.
“We’ve known that snacking nourishes many women, and this study reveals the snacking trend is on a huge upswing and, in the next decade, will overtake conventional eating patterns,” said Paula Connelly, brand director for LUNA. “LUNA’s hope is that the study’s findings will be a catalyst to increase health and nutrition conversations among women so they can support, educate and inspire each other to lead healthier lifestyles.”
The Power of Snacking report identified key snacking behavior transformations emerging over the next decade, some of which include:
- Snack Time is the New Mealtime: Say goodbye to predefined mealtimes. While meals are culturally important, women from their twenties to their fifties will increasingly allow for flexibility in their eating schedules due to the requirements of juggling care giving for elder parents, childrearing and careers. The study reports that the time spent in “secondary eating” – eating outside of traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner -- while doing other activities will continue to soar.
- The Notion of Positive Snacking: Guilt be gone! Women in their mid-thirties to fifties will shift to a more positive mindset about snacking. They will seek foods that not only meet their nutritional needs, but can satisfy indulgent cravings. A movement is underway to bring the pleasure of eating back into women’s lives.
- Technology as a New Life Coach: Younger women aged 20-35, tech-savvy, urban professionals and women managing diet-related health conditions will increasingly turn to technology to guide their nutrition choices. Technology advances will enable women to not only have greater knowledge about food products at the point of purchase but also the effect a specific product will have on their health and overall well-being.
The Menu Ahead
The report identifies behaviors that women can adopt to support a more nutritious way of snacking in the coming decade including:
- Build an Ecosystem of Trusted Resources: Women will increasingly need to find reliable sources whether websites, friends or experts, and tap them to assist in deciphering nutritional information and making optimal snack choices for their lifestyles.
- Realize the Influence of the Gatekeeper Role: While eating habits will alter considerably during the next decade, women will remain the nutritional force in their families. Gatekeepers that improve their own eating habits will positively impact the health of their whole family.
- Snack with Intention: Many of the barriers that prevent women from eating healthy snacks – including limited access to nourishing food choices, not enough time to cook and not enough money to eat well – seem insurmountable to individual women today. Over the next decade the obstacles to healthier snacking will lessen and women of every generation will need to value their health and snack with more awareness and intention.
For additional study findings and a copy of the complete report, please visit www.thepowerofsnacking.com.
ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR THE FUTURE
The Institute for the Future (IFTF) is an independent, nonprofit strategic research group with more than 43 years of forecasting experience. The core of its work is identifying emerging trends and discontinuities that will transform global society and the global marketplace. IFTF’s research spans a broad territory of deeply transformative trends, from health and health care to technology, the workplace, and human identity. The Institute for the Future is located in Palo Alto, California. (www.iftf.org)
1Methodology- During July and August 2011, IFTF conducted exploratory group interviews with LUNA and women ranging from 19 to 59 in San Francisco, Austin, Denver and New York. Expert interviews were also conducted on a range of topics including nutrition and women’s values, attitudes and behaviors. Additional IFTF pre-existing research on the future of food and nutrition was also overlaid where appropriate.