When it comes to American snacking habits, salty reigns over sweet, and cheese outranks cookies.
That’s according to a recent Nielsen report which found that in the snack food chain, Americans are more apt to reach for chips and crackers when the snack attack hits, over candy bars and cookies.
Salty snacks generated more than $27.7 billion in sales in the year ending April 2017, while sweets and candy trailed behind at $20 billion.
A Harris Poll EquiTrend Study for Nielsen revealed regional preferences among U.S. consumers, who were asked to rate 275 popular snack brands and identify their favorite 3 p.m. and late-night foods.
In the East, the most popular snack is M&M’s Milk Chocolate Candy, while in the South, it’s the Snickers candy bar.
In the Midwest, snackers are more likely to pop a few Hershey’s chocolate Kisses, while in the West, Tillamook Cheese is the preferred snack.
.The survey was based on a sample of 102,617 U.S. consumers, and rated 4,051 brands. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 40 randomly selected brands.
Annual snack category sales for period ending April 1, 2017 are as follows:
1. Salty snacks $27.7 billion
2. Candy $21 billion
3. Cheese $17.3 billion
4. Cookies $7.4 billion
5. Crackers $6.7 billion
6. Ice cream $6.6 billion
7. Nuts $6.1 billion