Roy Morgan Research
November 21, 2014

Let it rip, Potato Chip! Australia’s favourite snacks

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 5938
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When it comes to the nation’s most popular snacks, it seems Australians’ tastes tend more towards savoury than sweet. In an average seven-day period, 41% of us snack on potato chips, 37% snack on nuts, and 32% snack on savoury biscuits/crackers. But while these salty treats are the nation’s undisputed favourites, sweet snacks outnumber them when we consider the top 15 snacks enjoyed by Aussies 14+.

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 (plain/natural yoghurt) is ‘neutral’.

Snack attack: Australia’s most popular snacks

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2013 – June 2014 (n=16,809)

Sugar, spice and all things nice?

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/crackers (35% vs 28%), natural/plain yoghurt (32% vs 20%) and health/muesli/fruit bars (18% vs 15%).

Nutritional value and/or calories appear to be of less concern for men, who are more likely than women to snack on potato chips (44% vs 38%) and corn chips (19% vs 15%) in an average seven days.

Ice cream is the great leveller, 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).

Older Aussies: nuts for nuts

Age is also a determining factor in Australians’ snacking habits. For example, in any given seven-day period, 60% of teenagers under 18 and 50% of 18-24 year-olds snack on potato chips — compared with 34% of 50-64 year-olds and 23% of those aged 65+.

What’s more, younger Australians (and those up to 49 years) are more likely than the 50-plus brigade to tuck into everything from lollies to chocolate bars, corn chips and health/muesli/fruit bars. 

Among the more mature demographics, nuts and savoury biscuits/crackers are more popular than potato chips, with 50-64 year-olds being the age group most likely to snack on nuts in an average seven days and Aussies aged 65+ being the biggest fans of savoury biscuits/crackers.

Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

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“With two of every five Australians 14+ 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.

“But age and gender are just two factors that influence a person’s snacking habits: attitudes towards food are obviously another. For instance, more than three of 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. This is why an in-depth understanding of Australian snack consumers, and their diverse habits, attitudes and preferences, is so vital for snack-food brands to ensure they catch the attention of their target market.”

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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

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