Snacking by Gender

A whopping 91% of Americans snack at least once a day. Nielsen just completed a two week study of more than 1,100 Americans over the age of 18 and found some interesting facts about our snacking patterns, especially when it comes to differences between men and women.

  • More women reported occasional binge snacking behavior (34%) compared to men (29%).
  • Women also report snacking for stress relief (22%),  boredom (23%) or as an indulgence (48%) while men said they chose to snack to improve their mood (14%), for enjoyment (40%) and satisfy hunger between meals (49%).
  • Snacking seems to be replacing meals for many Americans:  24% of men and 22% of women reported snacking as a meal alternative to breakfast (6%), lunch (12%) and dinner (6%).
  • We love snacking while watching TV – both sexes picked TV as their number 1 activity while snacking (51%).
  • Men are more likely to snack while working (31%), whereas women are more likely to snack while using their smartphones, laptops or tablets (54%)
  • Women prefer sweets chocolate, candy or cookies (40%) whereas men prefer salty treats like pretzels and chips (32%).
  • Nearly a quarter of women snack 3-4 times a day compared to men (19%).
  • Both genders cited satisfying cravings as their number one reason to snack (52%).

James Russo, SVP, Global Consumer Insights, Nielsen noted, “In comparison to men, women are more apt to reach for a snack when they are stressed or bored or simply want a treat. For men, the biggest difference was having a snack as a breakfast alternative.”