2024 Snack trends predict the line between snack and meal blurs

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) /

Whether it is the Girl Dinner trend, too many to-do items on the schedule, or just not wanting to prep all that food, the 2024 snack trends predict that meals and snacks may no longer be two distinct categories. For many people, those food lines might be overlapping.

For the past five years, the Frito-Lay and Quaker U.S. Snack Index reveals the what, how, and why people grab one particular food item over another. It might have started with looking at globally influenced flavors, but it has expanded beyond the taste enjoyed by many. Today, the findings examine how people eat those preferred foods.

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

2024 Snack trends predict the no-prep dinner will take over the table

While the distinction between full meal and snack might not be drawn in the sand, some of the 2024 snack trends take into account people’s lack of time. Items like dash to dine show that consumers have less than an hour to prep, eat and enjoy a meal.

While people might spend the same amount doomscrolling social media, the reality is that time is scarce. The days of leisurely learning to chiffonade herbs and appreciating the fine flavor art of the trinity have been replaced by a grab and go bag that is closest on the shelf.

Since the quick bite is key, people are looking for protein rich choices. Sometimes that protein boost can be more satisfying. At the same time, consumers do not want to compromise on flavors. Even when that craving for an energy boost is wanted, people want to have options that are not bland or boring.

While all of these 2024 snack trends are fun to devour, the reality is that companies will feast on the findings, and they will influence the next great snack item that everyone craves. It is one of the reasons why pickle flavors were everywhere, global flavors infuse classic offerings, and a myriad of other options. The food would not be on the shelf without knowing that a large audience wants to enjoy it.

For now, 2024 snack trends may not have people changing their habits, but they will influence the food that people purchase off the shelf. Just take a look at the food in the cart during the next shopping trip.