Britons scoffed 208 million more bags of crisps in 2010 than the year before as the economic downturn led to a more “relaxed” attitude to health, experts have suggested.
Sales of crisps rose 5.7% to 134,622 tonnes – a 7,300-tonne increase on 2009 – according to data from Kantar Worldpanel, as consumers turned to comfort food and small treats as the economic crisis took effect, The Grocer reported.
Experts said much of the sales increase was driven by changes in consumer behaviour in the recession.
Mintel analyst Kiti Soinien said many consumers saw crisps as indulgent yet affordable while the downturn led to a more “relaxed” approach to healthy eating.
She told the trade magazine: “The recession saw a clear increase in the tendency to treat oneself to less healthy foods, with a shift from the boom mode of self-improvement through healthy eating towards comfort food.
“In many ways, crisps are seen as the perfect little treat for these times.”
Crisps are the UK’s third most popular snack after fresh fruit and chocolate.