The Top Snacking Trends for 2021

By Federal Industries Dec 3, 2021

As much as we all pride ourselves on serving the best breakfast, lunch, and dinner combinations, there's one meal of the day that often gets overlooked: snacks. Snacking has been an important meal on many people's radar for years, and it's become even more important throughout the pandemic.

There are very few of us that go a full day without looking for something light, yet tasty to curb cravings with. Often, this is the result of burning too much energy throughout the day or needing a little pick-me-up treat until the next big meal. In 2021, as we're embracing entirely new serving regulations in the food industry, snack trends have changed just as much as other services. They've become what's known as the fourth daypart meal.



Many consumers rely on snacks to get them through the hustle of having jam-packed schedules and others rely on snackage as a means of simple comfort. The reality is that having a nice treat you can take on the go, without the mess of dirty dishes and carrying around leftovers, can be a relief.

Throughout the pandemic, eating behaviors have turned more towards the consumption of snacks due to the changes in everyone's schedule. While many people were stuck working remotely from home and others were left with more free time on their hands, many consumers have turned to snacks in order to reduce stress and find a sense of peacefulness. 


With the increase in demand for snacks, many c-stores and retailers have noticed that consumers want snack options all day long. Rather than the middle of the night rush to the store for something sweet before bed, there's been an influx of customer desires that surround having those same snack options between meals, during mid-afternoon breaks, and at all hours of the day.

This has led to many c-stores running advertisements via apps and even at their pumps when consumers stop to fill up their tanks. This form of marketing is finding success in offering deals that target the hungry audience with ads that include: 

  • A free bakery item with the purchase of a coffee

  • Loyalty programs where consumers can use points to get a discount on soda fountain drinks or other quick bites

  • Pre-packaged, grab and go options

  • Healthy and plant-based items

In some ways, the fourth daypart meal can be considered an opportunity for the food industry to be more eco-friendly and sustainable. Primarily, this is found with the grab-and-go trend. Consumers have leaned towards focusing on healthier consumption, and have spent the last 14 months eating smaller portions as they take care of their body. 


As consumers continue to circulate around 24/7 snack options, having the means to conveniently store and display snacks is a must. Luckily, Federal Industries' merchandisers are ideal for this trend. You can choose between heated, refrigerated, and non-refrigerated display cases that help optimize snack appeal to hungry consumers. 

Federal Merchandisers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing you to select the right one for your operation's individual needs. Many of the cases come with LED lighting to make sure snacks stand out and guide consumers directly to the snack they are craving.  Shelves can be easily cleaned to promote safety and offer transparency in the care of hygiene, providing customers and staff with a comfortable level of respect and care. 

Do you want to learn how our merchandisers can benefit your operation when it comes to the latest trends? Get your free tips sheet from Federal Industries today.

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