No Comfort from Salty Snacks?

June 30, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR (b)lines) - If you grab chips or pretzels when you're bored or to make yourself feel better, don't expect to be satisfied.

A survey suggests salty snacks are not a comfort food, as the majority of respondents are already in a good mood when they eat a salty snack.

The survey by marketing research firm AdSAM found 57% of consumers are in a very positive, empowered emotional state when they are driven to eat salty snacks. In addition, these consumers receive a greater emotional pay-off from snacking than do those who are driven by boredom, anxiety or negative emotions.

Of the nine emotional groups studied, the largest percentage of respondents (31%) fell in the Warmly Accepting category who said they eat salty snacks when they feel grateful, protected, appreciative, secure and soft-hearted.

Twenty-one percent said they eat salty snacks when they feel cynical, sensitive, aloof, sympathetic and repentant – the negative emotional group with the largest percentage of respondents. Interestingly, AdSAM found people in this category were more likely to be consumers who do not have young children or who live in households with only one or two people.

No consumers who were in a negative or neutral emotional state when they selected a salty snack reported a pleasurable result above a 6 on a scale from 0 to 10.