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In crunch times we turn to crisps

Britons ate 208 million more bags of crisps in 2010 than the year before as the economic downturn led to a more "relaxed" attitude to health, a magazine suggests. Sales of crisps rose 5.7 per cent to 134,622 tonnes, a 7,300-tonne increase on 2009, The Grocer reported.

Much of the sales increase is believed to have been driven by changes in consumer behaviour in hard times.

Mintel analyst Kiti Soinien said: "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."