Healthy living trends have not deterred the majority of Americans from enjoying their favorite salty snacks.
Despite the national shift toward living healthier lifestyles and the increasing availability of artisanal food products, salty snacks— such as chips, pretzels, cheese snacks and popcorn—have maintained their position as consumer favorites. According to the Packaged Facts report Salty Snacks in the U.S., more than 90% of U.S. households purchase salty snacks weekly. This percentage is comparable to the number of Americans who own cell phones and it is almost as high as the percentage of U.S. homes with a television.
While potato chips lead the way in terms of popularity, the snack rarely—if ever—occupies a place in the typical American home by its lonesome. For example, there are only 8 million households, or 7% of all households using salty snacks, that consume potato chips alone. In sharp contrast, there are 77 million households, or 67% of the total number of households that purchase salty snacks, that use at least three kinds of salty snacks.
Interestingly enough, in many ways, adults living in households consuming all four major types of salty snacks (potato chips, popcorn products, corn/tortilla chips/cheese snacks and pretzels) tracked by Packaged Facts data represent a bygone image of Middle America. Rather than being young, multicultural and urban, they are more likely to be between the ages of 35 and 54 and non-Hispanic white. They are much more likely to live in the Central region of the country and in small and medium-size urban areas. They also have a higher likelihood of working full-time and enjoy a middle- to upper-income life style with a household income of $75,000 or more. Children and parents also are more common in households eating potato chips, pretzels and popcorn products as well as corn/tortilla chips/cheese snacks.