Potato chips still Australia’s favourite snack food

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 24th June 2013

Despite a small overall decline in snack food purchases, potato chips (potato crisps) are still Australia’s most popular snack food, with a third of Australians aged 14 or over buying the product in an average four-week period in the year to March 2013, according to new findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.

In year to March 2013, 33 per cent of Australians said they had bought potato chips, down from 36 per cent in the year to March 2009.

“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,” said Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research.

Sweet plain biscuits (22 per cent, down from 28 per cent in March 2009) and nuts (22 per cent, down from 24 per cent) were also popular.

The next most popular snack foods for Australian consumers were chocolate coated biscuits (20 per cent), savoury biscuits (19 per cent), and corn chips (16 per cent).

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, except nuts (20 per cent of those with children, compared with 22 per cent of those without).

“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,” Mr Morris said.

In September 2009, Australian Food News reported a sudden surge in growth of potato chips in Australia.

New Zealand snack trends

Meanwhile, potato chips are also the most popular snack food in New Zealand, with 44 per cent of New Zealanders in the year to January 2013 saying they bought the product 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 (30 per cent, both down from 32 per cent in the year to January 2009), but biscuits with a chocolate coating proved more popular than plain in households with children under 16 (35 per cent, compared to 34 per cent for plain).

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

New Zealanders with or without children were more likely to buy each of these top six snack foods than their Australian counterparts.

“Parents in both Australian 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,” Mr Morris said.