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Nearly 9 in 10 Australian adults eat packaged snacks in an average week

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, July 2008 – June 2019, n = 15,146. Base: Australians 14+

New research from Roy Morgan reveals that nearly 90% of Australian adults consume packaged snack food in an average week.


‘Savoury ‘and ‘Healthy’ Snacks are the most popular packaged snack categories, while sweet biscuits have declined

The most popular packaged items are Savoury Snacks eaten by 66% of Australians followed by Healthy Snacks (54.7%), Chocolates (48.1%), Yoghurt (44.8%), Sweet Biscuits (41.2%), Ice Cream (39.0%), Lollies or Gum (30.2%), Dips (22.4%) and Frozen/Dairy Desserts (11.5%).

The biggest increase has occurred in the healthy snack category, which includes items such as muesli bars, breakfast bars and rice crackers.

Meanwhile, the largest decline over the past decade has been in the sweet biscuit category, which includes treats such as chocolate and cream filled biscuits, as well as large cookies. 

More than a quarter of adults are ‘heavy’ snackers

Twenty eight per cent of Australians 14+ fall into the ‘heavy’ category, eating seven or more items in an average week.

Medium Snackers (4-6 snacks in an average week) account for 34.5% of Australians, while Light Snackers (1-3 snacks in an average week) account for 26% of the population. 

A much smaller proportion - just 11.5% of Australians - are considered Non-Snackers (they don’t eat packaged snacks in an average week).

This data is from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, conducted by in-depth face-to-face interviews with over 1,000 Australians each week in their homes.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says that despite a broader push for Australians to make healthier food choices and reduce ‘packaging’, we continue to eat packaged snacks at high levels:

Over the past decade the proportion of Australians who regularly consume packaged snacks has declined slightly, moving from 90.8% to 88.5%. Savoury snacks, such as potato chips, are the most popular choice of Australians, with two-thirds of adults eating them in an average week.

Compared with ten years ago, there have been increases in the proportion of Australians consuming Healthy Snacks (+3.2%), Savoury Snacks (+1.6%), Dips (+0.7%) and Yoghurt (+0.4%). Whereas there have been declines in Sweet Biscuits (-8.2%), Lollies and Gum (-7.2%), Ice Cream (-4.2%), Chocolates (-2.3%) and Frozen/Dairy Desserts (-0.1%).

The biggest increase has occurred in the healthy snack category, which includes items such as muesli bars, breakfast bars and rice crackers, although as the consumer organisation Choice and nutrition experts have often noted, there is a wide variation as to how ‘healthy’ products in this category actually are.

The largest decline over the past decade has been in the sweet biscuit category, which includes treats such as chocolate and cream filled biscuits, as well as large cookies. It’s interesting to note that the data shows those who consume healthy snacks are just as likely as other Australians to eat different kinds of snacks, such as chocolate and ice-cream.

A total of 62.5% of the adult population are considered heavy or medium snackers consuming at least four packaged snacks per week, and in many cases the number would likely be far higher,” Ms. Levine says.

Proportion of Australians who consume packaged snack foods in an average week

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, July 2008 – June 2019, n = 15,146. Base: Australians 14+ 

Proportion of Australians belonging to each snack food segment


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, July 2018 – June 2019, n = 15,146. Base: Australians 14+.


View our range of Snacks Related Profiles.

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309
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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

1,000

±3.0

±2.7

±1.9

±1.3

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2