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The chips are down – but remain the No. 1 snack on both sides of the Tasman

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2012 –March 2013, n = 20,767. Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), February 2012 –January 2013, n = 11,509.

A recent study by Roy Morgan Research shows that potato chips are still Australia’s most popular snack food, with a third of Australians aged 14+ in the year to March 2013 buying the product in an average four-week period (33% down from 36% in the year to March 2009). 

Sweet plain biscuits (22% down from 28% in March 2009) and nuts (22% down from 24%) are also popular.

Those with children aged under 16 living in the household were more likely than those without children to have purchased all the top six most popular snack foods bar nuts (20% of those with kids vs. 22% without).

Top 6 Snack foods bought by Australians in an average 4 week period

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2012 –March 2013, n = 20,767.

Potato chips are also the most popular snack food in New Zealand: 44% of Kiwis in the year to January 2013 bought some in an average four-week period (unchanged from the year to January 2009).  Chocolate-coated and plain sweet biscuits were tied as the second most popular snack food (30%, both down from 32% in the year to January 2009), but biscuits with a chocolate coating had the edge among people with kids at home (35% to 34% for plain).

New Zealanders with children aged under 16 in the household were much more likely to have purchased the top six snack foods than those households without children—including nuts.

Kiwis with or without kids are more likely to buy each of these Top 6 snack foods than their Aussie counterparts.

Top 6 Snack foods bought by New Zealanders in an average 4 week period

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), February 2012 –January 2013, n = 11,509.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Over the last five years there has been a small decline in the proportion of Australians purchasing snack foods in an average four-week period. Despite this decline, potato chips remain the most popular quick fix.

“Parents in both Australia and New Zealand are more likely to buy snack foods than people without children at home, with only nuts and savoury biscuits or crackers approaching parity between the two groups.

“Snack food companies need detailed profiles of their customers to ensure they remain competitive not only within their category but against the many other snack options.”

Click here to view our extensive range of Australian and New Zealand  Snack Food Profiles, including the Potato Chip Buyer Profile, Plain Biscuits (sweet) Buyer Profile, Nut buyer profile and more, or our range of Media Profiles including internet, social media, television, pay TV, radio and more.  These profiles provide a broad understanding of the target audience, in terms of demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage in Australia.

For comments or more information please contact:

Norman Morris

Industry Communications Director

Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5172

Mobile: +61 402 014 474

Please click on this link to the Roy Morgan Online Store

About Roy Morgan Research

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

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

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


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%