The growth in adult snacks is not just coming from home consumption and weekend treats. Our hectic lifestyles are dictating that we are spending more and more time away from home meaning that for many, traditional meal times are becoming a thing of the past. As such eating on the hoof and snacking whenever and wherever possible are now simply a fact of life.
According to Julie McCleave, business manager at Unilever UK Foods, snacking now accounts for 40% of all eating occasions and that figure is only set to rise over the next few years.
She reckons the major opportunity for retailers is to cater for the adult lunchbox occasion. She explains: "There are 3.5 billion lunchbox occasions per year, six- to 16-year-olds only make up 619 million of these, meaning that adults are the largest lunchbox users. This is the perfect opportunity for a brand such as Peparami. Currently 52% of all Peparami products are being consumed as part of a lunchbox. It represents the treat element, competing for space with biscuits and cheese snacks."
The growth of snacking on the go has also encouraged a number of companies to promote new styles of snacks as consumers continue to broaden their horizons.
Nowhere is this point better demonstrated than with the strong growth currently being enjoyed by the producers of dried meat snacks such as beef jerky and biltong.
There are currently loads of different companies vying to secure distribution and listings for such products, some of which are imported from the Caribbean and South Africa, and some of which are now being made in the UK.
In the last few months Cruga Biltong has been looking to deliver on a national scale with the appointment of its first national distributor, Rocket Distribution.
Cruga director Matthew Townsend, says: "Our new pack designs, new 25g pack size and 99p retail price point are designed to turn biltong into a mainstream snack product and a healthier choice to the ubiquitous crisp."
He says that the success of Cruga is based on the fact that it is made from prime British beef steak.
The Snack Company is another producer giving this South African delicacy a British twist with its Couzin Jacks biltong. The snack is made from West Country beef and produced in Cornwall.
With the taste for biltong and beef jerky becoming more established Jack Link's Beef Jerky has taken the market one step further with the launch of a convenient ready-to-eat steak bar for eating on the move.
The 25g bar is available in three varieties BBQ, teriyaki and peppered. Rrp is £1.25.
Ernst Sattler, Jack Link's managing director for Europe, claims: "Our bars enable retailers to meet demand for alternatives to conventional savoury snacks. In addition, retailers will generate higher margin returns, from a premium range of meat snacks, than they would with traditional snacks."

Retailer view

Bill Veering, owner of a Spar store in Millbrook, Cornwall has witnessed a massive increase in sales of dried meat snacks in his store in the past few months.
It began in March when Bill won a consignment of Rocking JC Beef Jerky in a reader offer through Convenience Store magazine.
Bill says: "I was selling a small amount of jerky and biltong before, but when the new stock came in we made a bigger display of it and it sold out very quickly. It came as a bit of a surprise because we had sold similar lines before - now people can't get enough of it."
Bill says that it does tend to be young adults who are the main purchasers of this type of snack, however all age groups eat it. He says that the customers that do opt for the jerky and biltong usually come back for more and then buy it regularly.
Since that initial trial Bill has increased his range of dried meat snacks and says that it is now an important niche snacking category for his store.