Symrise study examines family and children snacking habits to create product concepts

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13 Oct 2017 --- Symrise Flavors has announced the findings from an in-depth study on children's snacking that spans preschool to high school age subjects. A wide range of issues were explored and, using the information gathered, Symrise was able to conceptualize new solutions to address consumer needs.

Under the direction of Emmanuel Laroche, Vice President of Symrise’s Marketing and Consumer Insights, and Global Marketing Leader, the study focused on both sweet and savory choices in snacking, looking at what influences purchases, typical eating patterns, perceptions of healthy choices, packaging and other key factors. 

The study cited the difference in parents’ desire for nutrition and value while youngsters are looking for sweet and savory flavors with some distinctions. While kids tend to covet “sweet” foods throughout the day, there are limits to the intensity of their choices at various times. When it comes to “salty” choices, these are much more acceptable throughout the day, but they are generally consumed in the afternoon. In fact, the hours between lunch and dinner are the time when most snacking occurs. 

Various expectations that drive consumer choices and purchases for family units were examined in the Symrise study. And by actually observing, sharing the experiences and looking in depth at consumption rituals and habits of families, three types of families were identified – Solution Seekers, Nourishers, and Fillers. 

  • The Solution Seekers perceive snacking as a solution to the food challenges they face. They want to balance child happiness with healthiness, looking to snack foods as a means to provide some nutritional benefits while sating the children. 
  • Nourishers take an emotional approach to food, focusing on health and wellness and how they can use food and drinks to ensure their kids develop properly. 
  • Fillers see snacking as a practical approach to nourishment and use food and drinks to make their kids happy by filling them up.

Once the family types were identified, Symrise then went to work on fulfilling the snacking needs of the consumer. Starting with the food situation – what parents are trying to accomplish food wise, with their family, Symrise then focused on how families are meeting those challenges, in both form and ingredients. Finally, flavors were associated with those ingredients and product concepts were created. 

Symrise looked at the hearty breakfast-on-the-go, where breakfast is seen as the most important meal of the day and providers want to feed their children warm protein but lack the time to make a home-cooked meal during the week. They offer frozen or fast food breakfast sandwiches, oatmeal or toaster pastries. These warm, hearty options are hand-held and portable. The flavors associated with them range from moderately sweet, to sweet and salty, and to savory, and led Symrise to create prototype foods and beverages that incorporate these tastes.

In conclusion, Laroche said: “The details uncovered in this comprehensive study are already having an impact on our latest snack food flavor development. Our insights have led to innovative product development concepts, so we encourage you to contact us for more information.” 

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