In advance of 2024, Frito-Lay and Quaker’s fifth annual US Snack Index unveils the top food and snacking trends poised to shape the year ahead. This survey was conducted between December 6-12, 2023, among a national sample of 2,000 nationally representative US adults ages 18 and over.

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

As Americans seek ways to navigate burnout, a lack of time to prepare, eat and enjoy meals, the line between “snacks” and “meals” will be blurred in 2024.  

Eighty percent of Americans feel like their days actually have fewer hours. In 2024, Americans will say goodbye to hours spent marinating, chopping, roasting or baking. A proliferation of the “no-prep dinner,” defined as a simple meal that requires little effort to make, will continue to grow in popularity, alongside dinners rooted in Americans’ favorite snack products. 

According to the Index, the average American has only 52 total minutes per day to prepare, eat and enjoy their meals. One-third of consumers note having even less time, scraping together less than 30 minutes a day to prep and enjoy meals. More consumers are integrating their favorite snack products into meals, up 35 percent over previous years. Once a week, over half of consumers proudly use snacks as a key ingredient in no-prep dinners, while more than one-third seize this opportunity multiple times a week. The internet might have dubbed snack-focused meals as “Girl Dinner,” but in 2024, the trend is for everyone.

In 2024, snacking will be centered on the importance of purpose, protein and packing a punch. Americans cite protein as the most important nutritional attribute (55 percent) in snacks. Additionally, at least once a week, 60 percent of consumers look to their favorite snack products to provide energy.