Chinese consumers choose sweet over savoury snacks, reports Kantar Media

Variations in global snacking

Variations in global snacking

New insight into how consumer snacking habits can differ from country to country has been revealed in research from Kantar Media’s Global TGI (, which highlights global variations in the crisps and potato chips market.

While 86% of consumers throughout the USA and France consume potato crisps/potato chips, closely followed by 84% of GB consumers, China is at the far end of the scale with only 28% consumption.

This is not simply due to Chinese consumers snacking less overall, said researchers. Data from China’s TGI (CNRS) show Chinese consumers snacked on other goods rather than crisps, such as biscuits (66%), candy (64%) and chocolate (44%), in the last year.

“The best-known potato crisp and potato chip brands are Western-owned brands such Kettle, Pringles, Lay’s and Walkers, which may explain their huge appeal to Western markets and lack of popularity in China,” said Tracy Allnutt, head of commercial development at Global TGI.

“Our research gives companies fast understanding of how people’s perception of brands drives behaviour, so they can use consumer opinion to inform their marketing strategies.”

Attitudes towards diet and health can also vary between markets. Only 25% of American consumers agree it is worth paying more for organic foods, in contrast to 60% of consumers in China. And whereas 46% of Chinese consumers agree they “always think of the calories in what I eat”, there was a much lower level of agreement throughout the USA of 27%.

What’s striking, however, is that 39% of consumers in both countries consider their diet to be ‘very healthy’, indicating people’s perception of what they consider to be a healthy diet is likely to vary across markets, said Kantar Media. In this case Chinese consumers are much more consistent in their perceptions of healthy eating and what this constitutes.

Potato crisps/potato chips consumption per country:

USA: 86%

France: 86%

GB: 84%

Egypt: 72%

Brazil: 51%

South Africa: 43%

China: 28%

% agreeing with the statement “It’s worth paying more for organic food”:

China:  60%

USA:    25%

% agreeing with the statement “I always think of the calories in what I eat”:

China:  46%

USA:    27%

% agreeing with the statement “I consider my diet to be very healthy”:

China:  39%

USA:    39%