More than a quarter Aussies considered ‘heavy’ snackers

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Australia is a nation of snack lovers. Pics: GettyImages/kajakiki/Olga Tukas
Australia is a nation of snack lovers. Pics: GettyImages/kajakiki/Olga Tukas

Related tags: snackification, Australia, Roy morgan research

New research from Roy Morgan reveals that nearly 90% of Australians consume packaged snacks regularly, with 28% of them falling into the ‘heavy’ category, eating seven or more items in an average week.

Those who consume packaged snacks 4-6 times a week (medium snackers) account for 34.5% of the populace.

Light snackers (1-3 snacks in an average week) account for 26%.

“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,”​ said Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, Australia’s largest independent research company.

Proportion of Australians belonging to each snack food segment
Proportion of Australians who consume packaged snack foods in an average week

Nine in 10 Australian adults snack weekly

She added Australians continue to eat packaged snacks at high levels, despite the broader push to make healthier food choices and reduce packaging.

What is aligned to the global consumer trend is the growth of the healthy snacks category surging ahead with the biggest increase, eaten by 54.7% of Australians.

“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,”​ said Levine.

The category comes second to savoury snacks, at 66%.

“Savoury snacks, such as potato chips, are the most popular choice of Australians, with two-thirds of adults eating them in an average week.”

Sweet spot

Not surprisingly, sweet biscuits, ice cream and chocolates have declined in the past decade, but that does not mean the country has lost its sweet tooth.

“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.”

Category

Eaten by % of Australians

Compared to 10 years ago

Savoury Snacks

66%

+1.6%

Healthy Snacks

54.7%

+3.2%

Chocolates

48.1%

-2.3%

Yoghurt

44.8%

+0.4%

Sweet Biscuits

41.2%

-8.2%

Ice Cream

39.0%

-4.2%

Lollies and Gum

30.2%

-7.2%

Dips

22.4%

+0.7%

Frozen/Dairy Desserts

11.5%

-0.1%

According to Roy Morgan, the proportion of Australians who regularly consume packaged snacks has declined slightly – down from 90.8% to 88.5% - in the past decade. Only 11.5% of the country’s populace consider themselves snacking teetotallers.

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