Snacking Has Increased During the Pandemic, CVS Pharmacy Survey Reveals

A new survey from CVS Pharmacy® released today found that two thirds of American adults (66 percent) are snacking at home more, and nearly three in five (59 percent) are choosing better-for-you snacks and meal solutions more often than they would have prior to the pandemic. In response to the survey, which was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of CVS Pharmacy in July of 2020[1], nearly half of Americans (48 percent) also indicated that they have been surprised to discover better-for-you snacks and meal solutions at a drugstore that they would not have expected.


As consumer habits adjust due to social distancing practices and other societal changes due to the pandemic, CVS Pharmacy has helped make access to affordable healthier snacks, meal solutions and grocery staples more convenient and accessible for shoppers who may want to avoid extra trips to specialty food stores and grocery stores. Customers who are already stopping in for prescriptions and everyday health needs can find a wide assortment of foods from popular national and niche brands, helping to provide a one-stop-shopping experience.


“Our customers are looking for ways to stay healthy,” says Marco Leone, Senior Director and Divisional Merchandise Manager of Consumables at CVS Health, “We’re always evolving our food and beverage assortment to provide healthier, on-trend products. Our goal is to make it easier for our customers to be proactive on their path to better health by stocking their pantry with better-for-you food choices that support new routines and wellness needs.”


Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • When seeking better-for-you snacks and meal solutions for themselves or others, more than 4 in 5 American adults who purchase those items find that affordability (90 percent), variety of flavors/choices (89 percent), availability of choices that offer nutritional benefits (86 percent) and convenience (84 percent) are important.
  • More than half of American adults who purchase better-for-you snacks or meal solutions for themselves or others (57%) say that availability of national and/or niche brands is important when seeking those items.
  • More than two thirds of Americans (70 percent) wish it were easier to find better-for-you food options while on-the-go (e.g. running errands, on the road, or between appointments).
  • More than half (56 percent) of those who purchase better-for-you snacks/meal solutions for themselves purchase nuts/trail mixes, and a similar proportion (55 percent) purchase snack bars.
  • A majority of Americans (78 percent) who purchase better-for-you snacks and/or meal solutions for themselves say they are most likely to shop for them in-store.
  • More than half of American adults (53 percent) say they find themselves choosing pre-made meal solutions (i.e., heat and eat items) to make mealtime easier.

This month, shoppers have even more access to pre-made “Fast Favorites” meal solutions from the exclusive Gold Emblem abound® and Gold Emblem®  lines at CVS Pharmacy, with more than a dozen new additions. The expanded assortment is available across over 3,700 stores nationwide as well as on The assortment spans a selection of better-for-you options and adventurous cuisines. Both exclusive lines also offer a generous assortment of snacks and staples, including options that are gluten-free, vegan friendly, USDA organic, non-GMO project verified, heart-healthy, high in protein, low in sodium, containing fiber, or cholesterol or sugar free.


New “Fast Favorites” product highlights include:

  • Gold Emblem Thai-Style Pad Thai – $3.99
  • Gold Emblem abound Chipotle Bowl with Black Beans – $3.99
  • Gold Emblem abound Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice – $4.49
  • Gold Emblem abound Pesto Genovese Quinoa – $3.99
  • Gold Emblem abound Red Kidney Bean Curry with Basmati Rice – $4.49
  • Gold Emblem Garlic & Spinach Cheese Ravioli – $3.29
  • Gold Emblem Basil Pesto Penne – $3.99


Expanding healthier food offerings is the latest example of CVS Pharmacy’s vision to be a premier health and wellness destination, helping to make healthier choices easier for millions of customers. Earlier this year, CVS Pharmacy introduced new on-trend displays in select stores nationwide to help make it easier for customers to find their favorite indulgences that are better-for-you, such as a “fuel up and go” display and a “$1, $2, $3 snack scene” display, offering an assortment of flavorful choices, comfort staples, and on-trend ingredients from national and niche brands as well as CVS’ exclusive snack and grocery lines. The assortments include exciting finds with enticing flavor combinations such as Korean BBQ, Coconut Lime, Kale & Potato, Chai Latte and more from cult-favorite brands available at select stores nationwide like Siete, Stryve, Larabar, Hippeas, Loma Linda and more.


For convenient and immediate access to these products, even while social distancing, select food and grocery items are available in-store, on as well as available for purchase and delivery through Instacart, DoorDash and Shipt, available at select locations. In addition, members of CVS’ longstanding ExtraCare® Rewards Program can save and earn 2% back on almost all food and beverage purchases automatically, as well as nearly every other item in the store, each and every day. To find a nearby CVS Pharmacy location, please visit


Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of CVS Pharmacy between July 30-August 3, 2020 among 2,033 adults ages 18+, among whom 1,749 have purchased better-for-you snacks/meal solutions for themselves, and 1,693 have purchased for themselves or others. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Matt Blanchette at


About CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health, is America’s leading retail pharmacy with nearly 10,000 locations, including over 1,700 pharmacies inside of Target and Schnucks grocery stores. We are committed to delivering innovative health solutions that create a simpler, more accessible experience for patients, customers and caregivers. CVS Pharmacy is the only national pharmacy to remove tobacco products from its shelves, and has taken a leadership role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by making testing available at locations across the United States.For the latest product and service offerings, visit or download the CVS Pharmacy app.

[1] Survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of CVS Pharmacy between July 30-August 3, 2020 among 2,033 adults ages 18+