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Snacking Away the Pandemic

Updated: May 11, 2021

As we’ve been stuck at home during this long pandemic, a lot of us have experienced changes in our mental outlook, in our moods – if for no other reason than simply being frustrated and bored.

There’s a research company called the NPD group that actually has looked at all of this and found that a whole bunch of us have turned to snacking as a way to fill the voids created by sadness, boredom, stress, and other moods.

That's right. Many of us, cooped up at home, have been raiding the refrigerator and the pantry to munch away the boredom and try to find something that makes us feel a little bit better.

In fact, NPD reports that the average U.S. consumer ate more than 37 percent more snack foods and treats while feeling sad or depressed during the pandemidc than they did in 2019.

That’s incredible, and it can’t be good for us from a nutritional health standpoint.

Darren Seifer, food & beverage industry analyst, NPD Group

Of course, NPD points out that not everyone ate a net total of 37 percent more snacks -- that those of us who felt happier or were in better moods didn't do so, which theoretically lowered the number of increased snack consumption. And, they hasten to add, lots of snacks are healthy -- not every snack is filled with salt, fat or sugar -- apples and grapes, for example.

The topic interested me though, so for this episode of the NFN Radio News podcast, I interviewed Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst, a guy who makes it his business to track trends like this so the food companies know how to respond.

If you'd like to learn more about how and why we've been snacking away the pandemic, take a listen.

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