Snack Culture

 -  4 min read

Consumers in 2019 have access to a multitude of different products, services, media outlets and new experiences. With so many different options right at our fingertips it can be difficult to choose what we want to try out. And as much as we want to be able to experience and delve into all of the different media available to us, there simply isn’t enough time.

Recently, though, some brands have begun to make it easier for consumers to experience and digest as much content as possible. They’re giving us shorter, “snack” versions of products that we can enjoy in smaller amounts, in a smaller amount of time. This is Snack Culture.

A great example of Snack Culture came about in July 2018, when US publishing app Serial Box began Microfiction Mondays for its users. Every Monday, Serial Box would send users an ultra-short short story through a push notification. Each notification topped out at 150 characters—designed for users who didn’t have the time to read anything much longer, but engaging enough to urge them to open the app later, where they’d find an expanded version of the story. Just like that, Serial Box had created something that could satisfy the need to consume content in the moment, but that could also be enjoyed—in greater depth—sometime later.

Podcasts are another way for brands to provide consumers with bite-sized information or entertainment. NPR does this by giving listeners a brief rundown of current events each morning with their podcast Up First. Each episode lasts about 10 minutes, and digs into the most recent news stories for that day. Listeners can get their news fix, but are also encouraged to explore certain topics at greater length on other NPR programs, if they so wish.

Today, we’re pressed for time and short on attention. With so many different products available to us, it’s overwhelming to even try to find the time to enjoy it all. It makes sense for brands to take part in Snack Culture. Create something for a commute, a moment of downtime. Break the rules of a medium, like telling a short story through push notifications, and you’ll surprise us, satisfy us, and make us grateful that you’ve made the effort to meet us in the middle. Give us something bite sized now, and we may want a whole plate of something further down the road.

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