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‘Mondelez International releases 2023 State of Snacking Report’

The era of three meals a day for Kiwis may be nearing an end, according to new research by Mondelēz International (custodian of popular brands such as Cadbury, Oreo, TNCC, Pascall’s, Philadelphia and Ritz).

New Zealand was included in the global food manufacturer’s State of Snacking Report for the first time this year, with a survey of consumers revealing younger generations increasingly favour snacking over traditional mealtimes. The data also shows New Zealanders’ snack-buying habits haven’t changed despite the cost-of-living challenges, and it challenges stereotypes around who eats the most chocolate.

“A key thing that stands out is while two-thirds of Kiwis say they’re more conscious of pricing, they’re buying their favourite snacks as much as ever. When you look at how we’re choosing to eat these days, it’s clear why. Generation X was unkindly called the slacker generation by their elders, but Gen Z might be called the snacker generation,” says Bevan Adin, Managing Director of Mondelēz New Zealand.

More than a quarter of New Zealanders (27%) said they preferred to skip breakfast in favour of a snack, but that rose to 40% for those in Generation Z (adults aged 18-26). Almost half of this age group also preferred a late-night snack to a meal at dinner, reflecting a growing global trend.

When asked to explain why they snack, 40% nominated comfort-seeking. However, they also prioritised snacking for “social health”, considering snacking aligned better with their social activities than traditional mealtimes.

On the other hand, millennials (those aged 27-42) were by far the most likely to prioritise their physical health. Choosing calorie-conscious, low-sugar snacks to meet nutritional needs or take care of their body was a key priority for around half, compared with just 32% of Gen Z and far fewer from other generations. New Zealanders in general were also conscious about the environment, with half looking out for snacks that used less plastic.

Overall, New Zealanders are huge chocolate fans. Asked to decide between giving up social media or chocolate for a month, an impressively large 30% of young adults would rather give up social media. Almost a third (31%) of us eat a bar of milk chocolate at least once a week on average.

Meanwhile, men are bigger chocolate fans than women. 37% of men eat chocolate at least weekly, against 31% of women (although daily consumption is evenly split, at 8% and 7% respectively).

The State of Snacking Report sheds light on snacking as a growing behaviour worldwide, with more people moving away from three main meals per day in favour of snacks. Today, nearly 9 in 10 global consumers report they snack daily (88%) particularly Gen Z and Millennials, while six in 10 adults worldwide say they prefer to eat many small meals throughout the day as opposed to a few larger ones.

“Across the world, we’ve seen that snacking has helped consumers navigate the last five years, providing moments of joy in tough times. People are also increasingly choosing snacks that fit their health and sustainability aspirations, looking for what we call mindful indulgence. Snacking is clearly incredibly important to how Kiwis live, and our focus will be on continuing to provide them with choices that reflect who they are – now and in the future,” Adin says.

Report Findings – Summary

1. New Zealanders are increasingly replacing meals with snacks

Despite two-thirds of New Zealanders saying they’re more cost-conscious, our snack buying habits haven’t changed.

More than a quarter of New Zealanders (27%) eat more snacks than meals.

Fewer than two-thirds of New Zealanders (61%) regularly eat breakfast, with many of us preferring a light snack later in the morning.

40% of Generation Z New Zealanders (26 and under) skip breakfast in favour of a snack, and 45% prefer a late-night snack to an actual dinner.

2. Millennial New Zealanders are more health-conscious than other generations

48% of millennials snack to meet nutritional needs or take care of their body – compared with just 32% of Gen Z and far fewer from other generations.

47% of millennials are also calorie conscious and watch their sugar intake, far ahead of the next most conscious generation, Gen Z (33%).

Younger generations say they snack for “social health” rather than physical wellbeing.

3. More than half of Kiwis agree they would rather give up social media for a month than chocolate (53%)

30% of Gen Z would rather give up social media for a month than chocolate.

37% of men eat chocolate on a weekly basis, vs 31% of women (although the sexes are evenly split on daily consumption, at 8% and 7% respectively).

31% of New Zealanders eat a milk chocolate bar at least once a week.

4. New Zealanders want to make more sustainable snacking choices

Half of New Zealanders prioritise snacks with less plastic.

5. Younger New Zealanders are passionate about trying new snacks

88% of Gen Z and 83% of Millennials would make a point of buying a new flavour as soon as it comes out. That drops to just 55% of Gen X Kiwis.

92% of Gen Z New Zealanders do their homework about a new product online before buying. However, two-thirds of Kiwis (including more than half of Gen Z) still prefer to discover new snacks instore rather than online.

More than 2/3 (67%) of Gen Z would queue for a limited edition of their favourite product.

The global report can be found here and the NZ Report is attached.


The State of Snacking reinforces that snacking trends around the world are as diverse as the consumers who enjoy them. Regardless of how, when and where people choose to snack, Mondelēz International is committed to empowering people to snack right, providing the right snack for right moment, made the right way.

The State of Snacking Report research methodology

This survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Mondelēz from October 11-November 10, 2023, among 3,683 global adults ages 18 and older. The research spanned 12 markets, including: The United States (n=286), Canada (n=287), Mexico (n=329), Brazil (n=281), France (n=288), Germany (n=294), The United Kingdom (n=280), China (n=280), India (n=516), Indonesia (n=281), Australia (n=286), and New Zealand (n=275). Other key groups analysed include: Gen Z / Centennials ages 18-25 (n=672), Millennials ages 26-41 (n=1,323), Gen Xers ages 42-57 (n=892), Boomers ages 58-76 (n=734), and the Silent Generation ages 77+ (n=61). Data from 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019 references similar studies conducted from September 18-October 17, 2022, among 3,530 global adult respondents, October 5-22, 2021, among 3,055 global adults, October 6-20, 2020, among 6,292 global adults and from September 16-24, 2019, among 6,068 global adults.

Data are weighted where necessary to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population. A global post-weight was applied to ensure equal weight of each country in the global total.


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