Anyone else familiar with the concept “after-dinner snack”?

Our youngest will often leave the dinner table, rummage around in the cupboard, then disappear into his basement lair with a protein bar, banana, bowl of Cheez-Its or other snack in hand.

While it may annoy me to see that my wife’s or my cooking has seemingly gone underappreciated, the offender in question is healthy and growing normally, so I don’t fight it.

And, really, how could I? The snacking revolution continues apace, with no end in sight. The contest between snacking and three-meal-a-day purism is long over, and snacking is the undisputed winner.

In its recently released State of Snacking report, Mondelez International, Inc. reveals that 64% of global consumers said they prefer to eat many small meals throughout the day, as opposed to a few large ones, up five percentage points from 2019.

The survey also found that consumers are seeking out snacks to meet a variety of needs to a greater degree than they were two years ago. Convenience and freshness have risen to the top of the list of attributes that regularly impact snacking choices.

Consumers are looking for well-being boosters throughout their daily lives. Mondelez found that 80% of consumers are seeking snacks to improve physical health, while 75% cited mental health, 80% emotional health and 65% social health.

That’s great news for grocery retailers and the suppliers of their fresh perimeter departments. And it explains why, even with food price inflation, demand for value-added snacking items like sliced apples continues to soar.

Grocers who invest in healthy snacks in their perimeter departments can expect strong consumer interest and, in many cases, healthy margins on the bottom line.

My kid can snack as often as he wants, as long as he’s healthy and most of the snacks he chooses are somewhere on the good-for-you spectrum.

More leftovers for me.