According to various reports focussed on food trends for 2018, the one that unanimously topped the charts and subsequently caught our fancy was – The Fourth Meal. What is the fourth meal? Well, The Fourth Meal celebrates the prolific love for snacking. Simply put, it is an amended version of the standard three meal norm, with an additional fourth meal thrown in, which is more of a small snack than a substantial meal. It could be a mid-afternoon salad, a titbit before a gym workout or a late supper or late dinner.
What is interesting is that as per recent studies, millennials are more likely to snack four times a day than any other generations. Overall too, the consumers eating patterns are changing from three set meals to on-the-go snacks. Eating a little and eating often seems to be the trend of the year. Or decade. Who knows. It may be here to stay. Although the trend seems to have got triggered more on account of people’s busy lives and work schedules than anything else, it is a welcome change from a fitness perspective as well. You know how the nutritionists say, ‘eat smaller portions, eat more frequently”.
This trend has given us some serious food for thought and we’re beginning to suspect that the “Fourth Meal” trend may not so much be a trend. Slowly but surely this trend is gaining pace making it all the more important for brands to start understanding the trends shaping millennial snack occasions if they want to succeed with this elusive group, which at the moment is Next Level Snacking!
This hasn’t gone unnoticed by brand marketers either – be it Taco Bell’s “Fourth Meal” campaign, Jack In the Box’s “munchies meal” or McDonald’s menu items like Snack Wraps and Chicken McBites. Brands are all out to make the most from this grab-and-go trend by wooing its consumers and why not? If snacking is the new way of eating, then so be it. Brand marketers will be at it. After all, branding is all about evolving.