First published on http://www.scoop.co.nz/
While the perennial debate continues about the health benefits of snacking, eating between meals is almost universally widespread with 97% of New Zealanders saying they regularly consume snack foods. In the last year, New Zealanders spent $900 million on snack foods, a year-on-year increase of 4%.
Recent Nielsen research shows that healthy habits prevail by a slim margin, with 69% of respondents saying they’d consumed fresh fruit as a snack in the past 30 days – the most popular choice overall. However chocolate is a very close second with two-thirds (67%) opting for a sweet treat, followed by potato chips with 62% of the New Zealanders surveyed.
When asked about their first choice of snack, fresh fruit also came up trumps with almost one in five (20%) choosing the healthy option, followed by chocolate (13%) and a mid-meal sandwich coming third (9%). The most popular reason for snacking is ‘to satisfy hunger between meals’ – as cited by 82% of New Zealanders who eat snack foods.