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Last Updated: Friday, 2 May, 2003, 00:41 GMT 01:41 UK
Britons Europe's biggest snackers
Fast food
Young people were the biggest consumers of snacks

More savoury snacks are consumed in the UK than any other country in Europe, a consumer survey suggests.

Crisps are the favourite snack in the UK with almost 1.4bn spent on them last year, the study by market analysts Mintel found.

A third of people questioned in Britain said they ate a packet of crisps at least once a week.

I'm too busy eating a bag of crisps
Gary, UK

The average adult in the UK eats 43 worth of savoury snacks a year, compared with 12 for the French and just 7 for Italians.

The report was partly based on a survey of 12,500 consumers across Europe - 2,500 in the UK.

Increasing European sales

The biggest consumers of savoury snacks - which includes nuts, salty biscuits and crisps - were young people aged 15 to 20.

European Snackers: % of under 20s who snack between meals
UK: 64%
Germany: 58.7%
France: 53%
Spain: 40.9%

A total of 64% of under 20-year-olds in the UK admitted snacking between meals, compared with 58.7% of youngsters the same age in Germany, 53% in France and 40.9% in Spain.

Germany is the second largest market, accounting for 18% of sales, then France, 14%, Spain, 9%, and Italy, 8%.

But snack sales are on the increase in Europe.


In the last five years snack sales have gone up by 57% in Italy and 58% in Spain while in the UK sales rose by 18%.

A majority of Germans questioned said they had eaten crisps two or three times a month.

Anne Bourgeois, European consumer goods consultant at Mintel, said: "Snacking is a well-established habit, with four out of 10 British adults admitting they often eat between meals.

"Clearly the products have satisfied the need for a quick way to stave off hunger and sales will continue to be driven by new product development and massive marketing budgets."

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