Fresh fruit is the world’s most eaten snack (chocolate ranks second), but food preferences between cultures and countries vary in terms of healthy versus indulgent aspects.
Even though fruit is a significant snack globally, and even vegetables are popular in the Asia-Pacific region (57%), cheese is the most eaten snack in Europe (58%), bread/sandwiches in the Middle East (47%), ice cream in Latin America (63%) and potato/tortilla crisps in the US (63%).
Global snacking sales reached $374 billion in 2014 and are growing, says Mark Gillespie, the Global Service Client Director at Nielsen.
At the Fi Europe fair in Paris last December, he shared insights from a survey of 30,000 online consumers from 60 countries. Among them were that people eat snacks at home (79%) with family and friends (68%) and “they stick to the basics – all natural, no artificial colours, GMO-free with natural flavours.
Natural ingredients are rated as very important by 45% of global respondents due to environmental awareness, too,” Gillespie said. Also very important are being sustainable (35%) and organic (34%).
Snacking favourites by region:
• Asia-Pacific: chocolate, fresh fruit, vegetables and cookies/biscuits.
• Europe: fresh fruit, cheese, yoghurt and vegetables.
• Middle East/Africa: fresh fruit, chocolate, bread/sandwich & potato crisps/ tortilla crisps
• Latin America: yoghurt, cheese, ice cream.
• North America: potato crisps/tortilla crisps, chocolate, cheese and cookies/biscuits.
The good news is that snacks are still considered ‘in-between meals’ rather than meal replacements. Long life to fresh food!