Snacking. It’s in your future.

Or at least it is according to Convenience Store News, which reports on a new study that notes “Steady Growth Expected for Snacking.” (Most likely, given the current weight climate in the U.S., the not-explicitly-stated corollary can also be inferred: Steady Growth Expected for Snackers.) Snacking is forecasted to increase by 14 percent between now and 2017.

The report, “Snacking in America,” was produced by NPD, a market research firm for food and beverages. For the food industry report geek, there’s pure gold here. Like the news that while the most popular time for snacking is still in the evening at home, night snacking is declining, while morning snacking is showing the strongest growth. Afternoon snacking “remained stable.”

And in good news for Americans’ health (but presumably bad news for packaged food manufacturers), fruit is the number one snack. However, the other snacks on the list of the top five foods eaten between meals are cookies, candy/gum, ice cream, and chips.

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