Young People Are Reaching for These Surprising Snacks

Fresher and less processed foods are winning at the grocery store.

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Green grapes and blue cheese on board
Photo: Dream79 (Shutterstock)

People’s snacking habits will always be a source of fascination. After all, there’s a lot of fun stuff heading to grocery store shelves, and we all secretly indulge in a few unconventional snacks of our own. Retailers, more than anyone else, are tracking the exact ways in which consumers consume, because the more they understand shoppers’ preferences, the more money they stand to make.

Grocery stores keep a particularly close eye on the younger generation of shoppers and how they decide what to buy. Trade publication Food Business News reports that in a study that surveyed Kroger customers, 74% of shoppers aged 18-35 said they snack multiple times a day. While these younger shoppers said they’d be happy to try new snacks, the actual sales data indicated that they’re not just reaching for prepackaged snacks, but something else surprising: fruit and cheese.


What are grocery shoppers snacking on now?

Potato chips were the top snack the survey respondents reported consuming regularly; 69% of them said they did so. But the next two snacks tied for second place, fruit and cheese (both at 67%), might raise eyebrows.


We’ve seen a massive push in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space since the start of the pandemic, with playful treats and wild products hitting the market to appeal to our cravings. But even though younger shoppers might be willing to taste these CPGs, they don’t appear to have made any of them a habit: The numbers show that overall, grocery shoppers are often reaching for simpler and less processed snacks from produce and dairy shelves.

With a lot of modern concern about the way processed foods affect our eating habits, plus an increased consciousness of which products are most sustainable, this preference for the simple stuff makes sense. The tried-and-true snack combination of fruit and cheese is filling and delicious, and it looks like it has much more staying power over the next wild thing a research and development team at a corporate headquarters might come up with.