Earlier this month, about two dozen employees from Mondelez International ’s headquarters sat facing a wall emblazoned with the company’s snack brands including Oreo cookies, Triscuit crackers, Swedish Fish candy, Cadbury chocolate and Nilla wafers. They gathered to learn how to eat these foods in a new way.
“Close your eyes and chew slowly,” said Claire Mark, a local meditation instructor who led the class. “Try to bring in a deeper level of awareness to the muscles that it takes to chew, to the physical experience of having food in your mouth, to recognize how it feels to swallow.” After a pause, the group repeated the process for each of the remaining bites needed to eat two crackers.
Mindful snacking, or the practice of slowly and deliberately eating food, is being promoted by companies who want to convince increasingly health-conscious consumers that indulging in cookies, crackers and candy is OK to do sometimes…
Justin’s, owned by Hormel Foods Corp. , had mindful eating in mind when it introduced bags of bite-size candies in 2015. Each is individually wrapped in foil, which prohibits mindlessly eating handfuls of the chocolate-and-peanut butter cups, says Justin Gold, founder.
“We don’t want consumers to have burnout of our product, to just eat a whole bunch of them and not eat them again for months because they feel terrible about themselves,” he says.