A recently released Harvard study on the health benefits of eating nuts confirmed what health-conscious consumers already know—that nuts are good for you, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. NPD’s food market research finds that nuts rank among the top 10 snack-oriented convenience foods for U.S. consumers motivated by health and weight needs.

Nuts are a popular snack for breakfast and morning snack but are eaten throughout the day by health- and weight-conscious consumers who want a nutritious, natural, better-for-you snack, according to NPD’s “Snacking in America” report, which examines long-term attitudes and behaviors about snacking as well as snack selection drivers. Consumers who are motivated to choose nuts and other better-for-you snacks based on health and weight needs tend to be seniors and empty nesters, adult females, and higher income households.  

The consumption of nuts is not limited to the health and weight conscious. Seventy-seven percent of U.S. households have nuts or seeds on hand and 19 percent of individuals eat nuts at least once in a two-week period, finds NPD. Nuts are consumed primarily as an in-home snack but are often incorporated into morning, lunch, and dinner meals. In addition to its choice as a healthier snack, nuts are also popular among consumers looking for a filling or a quick, convenient snack.   

“Whether to meet the needs of the health and weight conscious or as an easy grab-and-go snack, nuts are a popular choice among snackers,” says Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst. “Food manufacturers and retailers have a variety of options and audiences for marketing nuts.”

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