Snackification Bite-sized analysis of snacking cues
With the hectic and rapidly paced lifestyles many of us lead today, it comes as little surprise that brands are offering convenience-oriented products that seek to enable consumers to win back time where possible. One example of this is seen in the so-called snackification of food. Also sometimes known as grazing, snackification entails replacing one or more of the three square meals that are traditional in numerous cultures with quicker, smaller snacks consumed more frequently throughout the day. Notably, breakfast and lunch are the meals most commonly replaced with snackified alternatives, perhaps due to people having more time and greater appetites in the evening once the working day is done. Here we consider a number of key benefits that brands that are already in or wishing to enter the snackification space can communicate using both visual and language cues.
Portability & Speed
A major appeal of snackification is its compatibility with on-the-go lifestyles. For better or worse, many consumers are moving away from larger sit down meals which are seen as time consuming both to prepare and eat in favour of snacks. As such, RTEs and RTDs have an understandably strong appeal among this demographic. Consider, for example, the GO Energy Bake from Science in Sport. The dynamic brand name draws attention to its functional benefits and portability while many of its comms show the product being consumed on-the-go, framing it as inherently designed for effortless consumption. And where every second counts, format becomes increasingly important too. ROAM, for example, has created an air-dried beef bar that can be kept long term in one’s bag or car for an easily consumable school run snack. This innovative take also removes any need for preparation, as compared to needing to add water to a protein shake.
Note that snackification is not restricted to pre-prepared products. There are also opportunities in this space for brands such as supermarkets to position their existing products as being snackifiable. In fresh fruit and vegetable aisles, for example, there are perhaps opportunities to use enticing POS displays as visual ‘serving suggestions’ for popular snackification favourites such as Buddha and poke bowls.
Indeed, the popularity of these kinds of foods within the snackification space points to another key factor for brands to consider: nutrition. As consumers become more health-conscious, snackification increasingly sets itself apart from classic snacking by focusing on a philosophy of nutrient rich nourishment. In other words, replacement of square meals does not have to amount to guilty pleasures such as chocolate and crisps. Numerous products in fact demonstrate that snacks can do the precise opposite, providing people with a steady stream of nutrients throughout the day. One such example is Graze which, as its name suggests, derives part of its appeal from the idea of happily nourishing oneself at a gentle pace. The brand dials up this feeling by using a friendly, peer-like TOV and simple natural icons to describe health benefits. Interestingly, even among older players in the snacking space, we see more and more brands such as Peperami prominently emphasising their nutritional benefits on pack.
Taste & Enjoyment
Of course, for stressed and time poor consumers, nutritiousness is not the only important quality in a snackification food. Ideally, it should also taste good. For this reason, brands aiming to capitalise on the trend should also consider how to balance the communication of healthiness with that of flavour and ultimately enjoyability. After all, the ethos of snackification seems to be not so much about ascetic denial but rather paced enjoyment of one of life’s greatest pleasures: food. Brands taking this approach include Over Easy, Salento Organics and Hippeas, whose vibrant packaging and comms suggest the zesty, intense satisfying flavours that can make a snack a joyful highlight in a busy day.
3 key takeouts for brands:
- Consider using dynamic language, visuals of snacks consumed on the move and grabbable, ultra-convenient formats to make your product a no brainer for busy consumers.
- Giving prominence to nutritional benefits on pack, a friendly and accessible TOV and language like ‘Graze’ can win over buyers making split-second decisions on products to incorporate into their snackified days.
- Experiment with vibrant pack designs and comms communicating appealing, satiating flavour sensations to help consumers find joy, rather than restriction, in the snackification lifestyle.
Eoghain Ellis, Semiotician