Australians over the age of 14 who snack on potato chips, corn chips, Twisties and Cheezels in an average seven days more often than not also drink flavoured soft drinks in the same period, according to Roy Morgan Research.
Over the past five years, potato chips’ status as the nation’s favourite snack food has remained unchallenged, with 42 per cent of those surveyed now eating them in any given seven days. This is up from 41 per cent 12 months ago. Furthermore, 62 per cent of potato-chip snackers also consume some kind of soft drink during that time – well above the national average (48 per cent).
Corn chips and other salty snacks (Twisties, Cheezels, popcorn, etc) also seem to go hand in hand with elevated incidence of soft-drink consumption. Sixty-two percent of respondents who eat corn chips, and 70 per cent of those who snack on Twisties, Cheezels, etc, consume soft drinks in an average seven days.
Pairing snacks and drinks is not confined to the savoury market. In fact, those who snack on chocolate bars are even more likely (65 per cent) than those who eat potato chips and corn chips to consume at least one soft drink in an average week.
Roy Morgan Research General Manager – Consumer Products Andrew Price says potato crisps still being Australia’s favourite snack can be seen as somewhat concerning from a health perspective – especially when sugary soft drinks are also part of the dietary equation.
“While it’s true that snack-food brands have made the effort to introduce low-salt and/or diet variations to their product ranges, these have not proven as popular as the originals,” he said.
“In fact, our findings show that people who snack on crisps, corn chips and the like are less likely than the average Aussie to concur with health statements such as, ‘I always think of the number of calories in the food I’m eating’, ‘A low-fat diet is a way of life for me’ and ‘I restrict how much I eat of fattening foods’.
“Not surprisingly, given this relaxed attitude to health issues, it’s young men and women under 25 who tend to be the most avid consumers of these salty snacks. Consumption only really drops off among the over-50s, an age when one’s health inevitably becomes more of a preoccupation.
“It’s a complex situation. On one hand, snack food and soft drinks regularly attract negative media scrutiny for their less-than-nutritious qualities, and on the other, their popularity is impossible to deny. To ensure their continued success, manufacturers of these products must remain alert to any shifting attitudes that could affect how Australian consumers see and consume their favourite snacks.”