Kids, ages 2-17, ate more yogurt (refrigerated) as a snack-oriented food in 2009 than they did in 2008, but fresh fruit remained the top snack food consumed by this age group, according to The NPD Group, a market research company.

According to NPD’s food and beverage market research, potato chips, fresh fruit, string cheese and prepackaged cheese cubes or shapes, and hard candy also experienced growth in 2009 versus 2008 as snack foods eaten between, with, or instead of meals.

NPD’s SnackTrack, which continually monitors the consumption of snack foods both in-home and away, reports that also among the top growing snacks in 2009 versus the previous year were ice/fudge or cream pops, chewy candy, corn chips, donuts, and snack pies and pastries.

Top Ten Growing Snack-Oriented Foods Among Kids 2-17 (Eaten at all occasions: Meals and Snacks Point Change in Annual Eatings Per Capita 2009 vs 2008)

1. Yogurt (refrigerated)

2. Potato Chips

3. Fresh Fruit

4. String Cheese/Prepackaged Cheese Cubes/Shapes

5. Hard Candy

6. Ice/Fudge/Cream Pops

7. Chewy Candy

8. Corn Chips

9. Donuts

10. Snack Pies/Pastries

Source: The NPD Group/SnackTrack

SnackTrack defines snack foods as a group of foods generally perceived to be snack foods, like candy, chips, fruit, regardless of when consumed. Sixty percent of snacks are consumed at snack occasions, before, between, and after meals or throughout the day, and the remaining snacks are eaten with or instead of main meals. One out of every five meals consumed in the U.S. is a snack meal.

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