ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to the USDA, Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest consumption day of the year, after Thanksgiving. No wonder one third (33 percent) of American snackers rank the Super Bowl as their favorite celebration for its snack food. More so than other televised sporting events like the World Series (2 percent) or NCAA March Madness (2 percent). A recent survey commissioned by Kernel Season’s™ reveals that nearly every American (99 percent) enjoys snack food, not just during the Super Bowl, and a majority of them (87 percent) snack at least once a day. In fact, the nation is so committed to its snacks that over one quarter (26 percent) of snackers admit they could never go without having a snack. A mere seven percent of snackers think they could make it through a single snackless week without cracking. However, when it comes to the types of snacks and flavors they choose, Americans’ nibbling needs may surprise.
The Nation’s Knack for Snacking Survey, conducted by Kelton, finds that American taste buds are eager to try new flavors when it comes to snack foods. Almost two thirds (62 percent) of snackers would be interested in sampling new snack flavors on a daily basis, as opposed to waiting for a special occasion. Among those adventurous snackers are parents who are more willing than non-parents (73 percent vs. 55 percent) to try a new snack flavor any day of the week. When it comes to choosing a snack, Americans can’t resist one of the oldest, most versatile and wholesome snacks. Popcorn, a snack chosen by almost half (46 percent) of the nation’s snackers, beat out granola bars (40 percent) and pretzels (38 percent). Americans’ love for popcorn runs so deep that 29 percent plan to incorporate more of the fluffy kernels into their 2014 snack routines. In fact, more 18-39-year-olds than those 40 and over (33 percent vs. 26 percent) predict they’ll pop more corn this year. When it comes to improving the taste of their snacks, one in four (27 percent) Americans reach for popcorn seasoning, a topping just as popular as salt’s sidekick, pepper (27 percent).
“As a life-long snacker and popcorn lover, I found it intriguing to see how the nation chooses which snacks and flavors to consume when trying to satisfy their hunger,” said Brian Taylor, founder and president of Kernel Season’s popcorn seasoning brand. “Regional influences, gender differences and age all play a role in how Americans snack. And while flavor personalities and snack preferences may vary across the nation, we all have one thing in common. We love to snack!”
A Reason to Season
When it comes to improving the taste of snacks, Americans rank salsa (51 percent) and peanut butter (51 percent) as the most popular additions. Runners up in the list of snack enhancers are salt (45 percent), ranch dressing (45 percent), butter (41 percent), nacho cheese (41 percent), Parmesan cheese (35 percent), and onion dip (35 percent).
List aside, 29 percent of snackers consider themselves to be sweet, at least when it comes to the types of snacks they eat. However, just as many of the nation’s noshers describe themselves as salty (27 percent) in terms of the flavors or ingredients they usually choose to snack on. Ask how the “west was won” and it could be in part due to the region’s bold snacking choices. More Westerners describe their flavor personality as spicy than those in any other region (21 percent vs. 13 percent), while Midwesterners (32 percent) and Southerners (32 percent) say they’re sweet on treats with sweeter flavors and ingredients. The Midwest (31 percent) and Northeast (31 percent) both have saltier snacking personalities than the rest of the nation, but it’s the Northeast (18 percent) that stands alone as the cheesiest snacking region.
Stress Free Snacking
Almost half (48 percent) of American snackers agree that it’s important for a snack to satisfy a craving, rather than be healthy or convenient. Although, that’s not to say the nation chows down without any regard for the health content of their snacks. Most snackers have confessed that their biggest concern is the wholesomeness of their in-between mealtime treats. Over half worry their snacks may not be healthy (56 percent), or will be high in fat (53 percent), calories (52 percent), sugar (50 percent) or sodium (48 percent). In fact, women are more likely than men (59 percent vs. 52 percent) to have worried that their snacks weren’t healthy. Maybe that’s why women are more likely than men to nosh on snacks that entail some prep work. According to the survey, 60 percent of female snackers believe snacks that require preparation, such as popcorn or cheese and crackers, are healthier than ready-to-eat munchies as compared to 35 percent of men.
For more information about the Kernel Season’s survey, visit www.kernelseasons.com.
About Kernel Season’s
Headquartered in Elk Grove Village, IL, Kernel Season’s™ has been America’s number one popcorn seasoning brand for over a decade. Made with all natural blends and real ingredients, the great-tasting line of popcorn seasonings is perfect for adding guilt-free flavor to any oil, air and microwave popped popcorn. Kernel Seasons’ is offered at more than 25,000 movie theater screens nationwide and available for purchase at over 30,000 retail stores across America including Walmart, Kroger, Target, Safeway, Stop & Shop, Meijer, Food Lion, Publix, Winn-Dixie, Kmart, Bed Bath & Beyond and Family Video. To locate a store near you or to purchase Kernel Season’s online, visit www.kernelseasons.com. Shake up your flavor!
The survey was conducted by Kelton in January 2014 among 1,027 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and older, using an email invitation and an online survey. Findings in this report have a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.
Kelton is a leading global insights firm serving as a partner to more than 100 of the Fortune 500 and thousands of smaller companies and organizations. Utilizing a wide range of customized, innovative research techniques and staff expertise in marketing, branding, PR, media, and business strategy; Kelton helps drive our clients’ business forward.