In 2024, the culinary landscape is witnessing a significant shift towards snack-sized foods, a trend driven by Canadians' growing budget and calorie consciousness. According to Nourish Food Marketing’s 2024 Trend Report, this move towards smaller portions reflects a broader change in dining habits, influenced by a mix of consumption awareness, the advent of semaglutide (anti-obesity) medications, and demographic shifts.

The Rise of Snack-Sized Offerings

The trend report indicates a potential plateau in the year-over-year growth of calories consumed, suggesting that the era of oversized portions may be drawing to a close. Jo-Ann McArthur, president and founder of Nourish Food Marketing, highlights the increasing consumer preference for indulging in moderation. The popularity of the "little treat" culture, especially on platforms like TikTok, underscores a shift towards smaller, more indulgent portions and healthier side options. This adjustment is not only a response to consumer demand but also a strategic move for foodservice operations looking to innovate their menus.

Infographic on Snack-Sized Food Growth: An infographic showcasing key statistics from the Nourish Food Marketing’s 2024 Trend Report, emphasizing the rise of snack-sized offerings.

Fast-Food Industry's Embrace of the Trend

The fast-food industry, in particular, has been quick to adapt, offering a glimpse into the future of snacking. McDonald’s Canada, for instance, revamped its McWrap and Chicken Snack Wrap lineup in June, responding to the growing demand for snackable options. Similarly, Tim Hortons has placed a stronger emphasis on on-the-go snack offerings, catering to the busy lifestyles of Canadians who seek quick, satisfying bites that don't compromise on taste or quality.

Why Snack-Sized Foods are Thriving

Several factors contribute to the rising popularity of snack-sized foods:

  • Health and Wellness: With an increasing focus on health and wellness, consumers are more mindful of their calorie intake, preferring snacks that offer nutritional value without the guilt.
  • Economic Considerations: Budget-conscious consumers are drawn to snack-sized options as they offer a way to enjoy a variety of flavors and cuisines without a significant financial commitment.
  • Lifestyle Changes: The fast-paced nature of modern life means that meals are often consumed on the go. Snack-sized foods fit perfectly into this dynamic, providing convenience without sacrificing quality.
  • Indulgence in Moderation: The trend also caters to the desire for indulgence, allowing consumers to treat themselves to small luxuries without overindulgence.


As we move through 2024, snack-sized foods are poised to dominate the food scene, embodying the evolving preferences of Canadian diners. This trend is a testament to the industry's agility in responding to changing consumer behaviors, offering a promising avenue for culinary innovation and customer satisfaction.