Each week, 41% of Australians will snack on potato chips, 37% on nuts and 32% on savoury biscuits/crackers. But while salty and savoury treats are the nation’s favourites, more sweet snacks have a place in Australia 15 most favourite snacks.
The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research show that among the 15 snacks most commonly eaten by Australians in an average week, five are savoury, nine are sweet and one is “neutral”.
Women snack healthier
Women tend to be more likely than men to opt for snacks that are generally considered to be healthy, such as nuts (39% vs 35%); savoury biscuits and crackers (35% vs 28%); natural or plain yoghurt (32% vs 20%); and health, muesli and fruit bars (18% vs 15%).
Nutritional values and calories appear to be of less concern for men, who are more likely than women to snack on crisps (44% vs 38%) and corn chips (19% vs 15%) in an average seven days.
“With two out of every five Australians saying they ‘tend to snack throughout the day’, the snack market in this country is huge. While potato chips remain the nation’s undisputed favourite snack, their popularity varies between men and women and different age groups. Indeed, this is true of most snacks,” said Angela Smith of Roy Morgan Research.
Meanwhile, ice cream is enjoyed by similar proportions of women and men, whether it’s from a tub (27% of women vs 28% of men) or on a stick (19% of both).
Age is also a determining factor in Australians’ snacking habits. In any given week, 60% of teenagers under 18 and half of 18-24-year-olds snack on crisps, compared with 34% of 50-64 year-olds and 23% of those aged 65+.
Younger Australians, and those up to 49 years, are more likely than consumers aged over 50 to tuck into everything from sweets to chocolate bars, corn chips and health bars.
Older consumers prefer nuts
Among the more mature demographics, nuts and savoury biscuits and crackers are more popular than crisps, with 50-64-year-olds being the most likely to snack on nuts in an average week and Australians aged pensioners being the biggest fans of savoury biscuits and crackers.
“Age and gender are just two factors that influence a person’s snacking habits; attitudes towards food are obviously another,” continued Smith.
“For instance, more than three in every five Australians say they ‘prefer to eat healthy snacks’ and nearly the same amount restrict how much they eat of fattening foods. Predictably, these people are more likely than others to opt for healthier snacks such as nuts and muesli bars. Add sweet tooths and savoury cravings to the equation and the snack food market gains another degree of complexity.”