40 percent of Americans prefer to eat snack foods throughout day than eat traditional three square meals, survey finds

PRINCETON, New Jersey , November 8, 2011 (press release) – A recent survey by Snack Factory’s Pretzel Crisps® brand reveals that nearly half of Americans (40 percent) would prefer to reach for snack foods throughout the day instead of eating the traditional three square meals. What’s more, many admit to indulging in snack foods for lunch (78 percent) and even dinner (55 percent). While snacking may be a habit of both men and women of all ages, younger generations tend to skip the full course meal and go right to the snack aisle when they are hungry. In fact, close to half (46 percent) of 18 to 49-year-olds make snacking a major part of their day as compared to only 31 percent of their 50 and older counterparts. Despite the generational gap, more and more people of all ages are relying on snacks to get them through the day. Whether it’s sweet, salty, crunchy or full of flavor, snack foods have become a staple in the American diet.

Pretzel Crisps’® new Rethink Your Snack Survey, conducted by Kelton Research, finds that when it comes to snack time, a majority of Americans (59 percent) prefer to keep it interesting and sample a variety of treats. However, in the debate between snacks that taste good and snacks that are healthy, America’s taste buds are guiding their decisions. More than two thirds of the nation (63 percent) would rather eat a snack that appeals to their senses than their waistlines and nearly the same amount (60 percent) confess to consuming more than the recommended portion. The good news is that there are plenty of better-for-you snacks that offer a selection of satisfying flavors without the guilt or the added weight.

“When it comes to snacking, people want something that tastes good, satisfies their cravings and doesn’t make them feel guilty for eating it, even if they overindulge a little,” said Perry Abbenante, Vice President of Marketing for Pretzel Crisps. “Pretzel Crisps offer consumers a wide selection of bold and spicy, sweet, salty and savory flavors without the fat or high caloric content of other snack foods.”


Almost nine in ten (86 percent) Americans take the health content of their snack foods into consideration. When selecting small bites, calories (55 percent) and fat (48 percent) are the top two pieces of nutritional information Americans look for, while carbohydrates (31 percent) are far less important. For those seeking a healthier snack food, nearly three in four Americans (74 percent) see pretzels as a nutritious option, placing the diverse twists at the top of the list as one of the healthiest salty treats (28 percent) above corn chips (16 percent), potato chips (6 percent) and cheese curls (3 percent).

“Think of our bodies like race cars. As we go through the day we need to refuel. There can be long hours between meals, so plan to have a ready-to-go healthy snack that keeps the energy level steady,” said Kathy Kaehler, celebrity trainer, fitness expert and author. “To make the most of snack time, pair low fat, low calorie snacks like Pretzel Crisps with a little protein rich peanut butter or my favorite, a scoop of Greek yogurt for a boost of energy.”


While in the car, sitting at the office or lounging on the couch, seven in ten Americans (70 percent) prefer to munch in peace and quiet, making snack time a solo activity. When reaching for a snack, most of the nation (57 percent) reaches for salty treats over sweet indulgences and despite what Hollywood portrays, most do not rely on indulgent snacks and treats to ease their pain and tears. In fact, 62 percent say they snack when they are feeling happy, not sad.

When it comes to parenting, variety can often be the key to keeping children happy. Perhaps that is why more parents than non-parents (66 percent vs. 56 percent) prefer an assortment of go-to snacks instead of sticking to the usual snack food suspects. The wide snack selection could also be why more parents than those without children (56 percent vs. 45 percent) choose snacks for breakfast.

For more information about the Pretzel Crisps survey and products, visit www.pretzelcrisps.com.

About Snack Factory

Based in Princeton, New Jersey, Snack Factory was founded in 2004 by snack food pioneers Sara and Warren Wilson. From their humble start selling funnel cakes at county fairs, the couple went on to create New York Style Bagel Chips and Pita Chips (sold to RJR Nabisco in 1992). Today, Snack Factory is reinventing the pretzel category with the world’s first spreadable pretzel cracker, Pretzel Crisps®. For more information, please visit pretzelcrisps.com or become a fan at www.facebook.com/pretzelcrisps. Pretzel Crisps®. Rethink your pretzel!

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted by Kelton Research in August 2011 using an email invitation and an online survey to 1,007 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and older. Findings in this report have a margin of error of +/-3.1%.

About Kelton Research

Kelton Research is a market research and strategy consultancy that works with some of the worlds largest and most recognizable brands to help them better understand and connect with consumers. Kelton provides highly customized qualitative and quantitative research for a wide variety of companies across multiple sectors including many in the Fortune 500. For more information about Kelton’s services, please visit www.keltonresearch.com.

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