Gluten-free bakery Almondy is encouraging food service operators to review their cake and coffee offering following high demand for snacking products.

The bakery said the evolution of snacking is set to go “one step further” in 2018, and that operators can make the most of this opportunity as consumers adopt coffee and cake as a ‘fourth meal’.

Waitrose’s Food & Drink report 2017-2018 also predicted the ‘fourth meal’ will be a big trend in 2018 and incorporated in daily diets.

Rather than a substantial meal, the ‘fourth meal’ will be a small snack, ideal before a gym workout or as a late supper, according to Almondy.

The company added that operators who tap into the trend could increase their coffee and cake sales.

“With consumer eating patterns changing from three set meals to an on-the-go lifestyle, it comes as no surprise that we are seeing the move to eating little and often to fit into busy schedules,” said Almondy’s brand manager Madeleine Ahlström

“The new findings show 2018 will be the year snacking goes a step further with more consumers incorporating a fourth meal into their daily diets.”

Fika, the Swedish custom for coffee and cake, (pictured above) was gaining momentum in the UK, according to Almondy, which said it lends itself to becoming the small ‘fourth meal’ consumers are looking for.

Market research firm Euromonitor has also found evidence consumers are moving away from eating three fixed meals a day and turning to snacking.