Snacking proves to be a source of comfort for 74% of Malaysians

As many Malaysians continue to do their part to flatten the curve by staying at home, eating and snacking habits have changed, especially as many try to balance working from home, online learning, and family time among others. Findings from a recent survey unveiled that snacking has been a source of comfort for many Malaysians. 74% shared that they are snacking to de-stress and unwind while over 40% snack to curb hunger in between meals. The survey also uncovered that only 50% felt portion control is crucial and when asked about the nutritional content of their snacks, only 3 in 10 Malaysians categorised it as important.

To better understand these changing habits and advocate ‘Mindful Snacking’ practices, snack powerhouse Mondelēz International (Malaysia) conducted the 2021 Consumer Survey on ‘Mindful Snacking’ with Malaysians across various demographics and localities. 

“As a market leader in key snacking categories, our purpose is to empower people to snack right. We want to help Malaysians feel good about what they snack on, while nurturing a more positive relationship with food. Snacking mindfully is not about choosing between eating healthy or restricting yourself from snacking rather, it is about slowing down and being fully present while savouring each bite with all your senses,” said Lim Chain Yin, Nutrition Lead for Mondelēz International Southeast Asia. 

‘Mindful Snacking’ is a behavioural approach that focuses on eating with intention and attention. In advocating good habits of ‘Mindful Snacking’, Mondelēz International (Malaysia) has placed the portion guidance and “Snack Mindfully” icon on its product packaging to give consumers better clarity on the right portion size and calories information per portion; introduced “portion control” packs that are less than 200kcal per pre-wrapped portion; and rolled out “Better for You” products with improved nutrition and ingredient profile. 

Apart from that, the survey also finds that 68% of Malaysians prefer to snack alone with majority indicating that they prefer to snack while watching television, surfing the net and while working or studying.

In discussing the survey findings at a virtual discussion organised by Mondelēz International (Malaysia), Dr. Satvinder Kaur, PhD – Nutritional Epidemiology; BSc – Nutrition & Community Health shared “We need to pay attention to our body’s internal cues or triggers such as ‘I am hungry’, ‘I am craving something sweet or savoury or sour’, ‘I am full’, and ‘I am satisfied’. When we put some thoughts into understanding the intent and need, we will establish a better relationship with food. For a balanced food intake, some methods we can practice include the B.M.V. (Balance, Moderation, Variety) and Quarter-Quarter Half Plate Guide. Mindful consumption of meals and snacks will prevent overeating and by following the healthy eating guide, our overall diet quality will improve.”

‘Mindful Snacking’encourages a person to consider why they snack, what they snack on and how they are snacking. ‘Mindful Snacking’ practices include: 

  • portioning the snack and putting the rest away or choosing single, pre-wrapped servings;
  • minimising distractions like snacking while watching TV or being on a phone or computer; 
  • smell and taste each bite;
  • chew slowly and give full attention to each bite;
  • notice the texture of the snack; and
  • finish the bite before taking the next one.  

“We inspired to go the extra mile to lead the future of snacking by offering the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way. Through our local #SnackMindfully #JomSnekBijak initiative, we are encouraging consumers to enjoy their snacking experience by making more mindful and conscious choices,” said Raja Zalina Raja Safran, Head of Corporate Communications & Government Affairs, Mondelēz International (Malaysia & Singapore). 

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