Snacking across the globe

Ramen snack mix

It's a fact: everyone likes to snack. All around the world, people are consuming more snacks, as evidenced by the $400 billion USD per year snack market growing by two percent last year. But the types of foods people munch vary greatly depending on which area of the world they live, according to a recent Nielsen study discussed in the Washington Post. Although individual tastes vary, the study observed broad regional trends.

Somewhat surprisingly, North America doesn't dominate the snacking market. Europeans have the honor of spending the most on snacks, a whopping $170 billion USD per year. And apparently they have a sweet tooth: the most popular snack in Europe, "when measured by pure dollar sales, is, rather incredibly, candy. Almost 30 percent of the money spent on snacks in Europe goes to confections. Refrigerated items, meanwhile, account for just over 21 percent; Salty snacks, 14 percent; and cookies and cake, 13 percent."

Compare that to North America, where the preference is salty snacks. Nearly 25 percent of snack money goes to such products, with a surprisingly small amount, less than 10 percent, being spent on cookies and cake. Meanwhile, in Latin America, cookies and cake gobble up nearly one third of the snack dollars, with salty snacks coming in rather distant second.

When asked what they would prefer as a snack, the most popular answer from respondents worldwide was fresh fruit. This response belies the actions taken by people when purchasing snacks, because fresh fruit comes in rather low in the rankings of actual snack consumption. The allure of chocolate and potato chips seems to overcome the good intentions of most global citizens. Read more, including which snacks are preferred in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

What's your favorite snack?

 

Photo of Crunchy ramen snack mix from indexed magazine Everyday Food

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