Millennials are the driving force behind the growth of better-for-you snacks, according to a new study from Amplify Snack Brands and the Center for Generational Kinetics.

The research says that healthier snacks have become widely available across the country, break the income barrier, and are being held to the same standards of universal taste appeal as their conventional products. Healthy is the new normal, Amplify says. 

The study's white paper cites research-based insights into better-for-you snacking trends and how to engage millennials by understanding their perceptions, motivations and behaviors when it comes to snacking. For example:

  • Millennials expect great taste: Nearly 80 percent describe better-for-you snacks as tasting the same or better than traditional snacks.
  • Less is more: 64 percent of millennials, more than any other generation, believe that fewer ingredients mean a snack is healthier. In addition, 79 percent said that understanding all the ingredients increases their level of trust in a packaged snack.
  • Social media is the messenger: More than any other generation, millennials will try a better-for-you snack based solely on an online rating, review or social media post.
  • Motivated by the kids: Most millennial moms (69 percent) say their kids understand that some snacks are healthier than others and 55 percent say their kids are more likely to choose a better-for-you snack over another.

“This study is such a fantastic example of how powerful the millennial generation can be for businesses,” said Jason Dorsey, millennial researcher. “Their passion for healthy eating helped to turn a niche snacking category into a thriving industry, and it’s only just the beginning. Millennial parents are instilling these values into their kids and setting the stage for the next generation of better-for-you snackers. For those seeking to attract and retain this influential customer segment, our national research sheds valuable insight into their behavior and how to make an impact.”