Fresh fruit is the No. 1 snack in Canada, followed by chocolate then yogurt.


Fresh fruit remains the No. 1 snack choice of Canadians but yogurt has overtaken potato chips for the No. 3 spot, says a company that studies snacking trends.

Chocolate has held onto the No. 2 spot.

The NPD Snacking Report followed 3,000 people, including kids, who were asked to complete diaries about their food intake for one week in 2005. The information is used by corporate clients — mostly manufacturers and retailers — to better understand food trends.

Fresh fruit represented 20 per cent of snack food eating occasions in 2005, while chocolate, yogurt and cookies came in at seven per cent.

Potato chips represented six per cent of snack food-eating occasions, the data show.

“It doesn’t matter how we slice it or dice it, it’s still fruit is the No. 1 snack,” Marion Chan, director of food and beverage for the NPD Group, said earlier this week as the report was released.

“The one big change is that yogurt has taken the No. 3 spot and pushed potato chips down one ranking spot. (It) really speaks to the fact that consumers really are trying to eat better.”

Guilt-free snacks like yogurt, granola bars, nuts and frozen, flavoured ices are the kinds of munchies that people feel pretty good about, she said.

In 2005, 21 per cent of individuals ate yogurt in an average week compared to 15 per cent of individuals surveyed in 2001.

Chan also noted some manufacturers are now offering 100-calorie snacks — cookies, chocolate, crackers or chips in small-portion packaging.

“I think what’s driving it is that consumers have problems controlling how much they eat, so when they open a bag of chips or they open a bag of cookies they want to eat it until it’s gone,” she said.