Young people in the UK consume more snacks than their European counterparts, with Britons aged between 14 and 24 eating 856 snacks per year, according to a report by Datamonitor. The survey found that children aged six-13 are consuming an average of 825 snacks a year, which is over two snacks a day, compared to the European average of 807. The practice of snacking is more common among people under 24, who made up 37% of the UK’s £6.3bn confectionary market in 2005. The research cites the change in traditional meal patterns as one of the main reasons for the increase in snacking, with Britons grabbing snacks mostly in the afternoon after a lighter lunch and in the evenings due to later dinners. The combined savoury snacks and confectionary market in the UK, which was valued at £8.8bn in 2005, grew by 11% between 2000 and 2005. The report said that in the next five years, however, the market is only forecast to grow by less than 2%. Daniel Bone, author of the report, said: “The fact that consumers no longer define “snack” with such strong reference to chocolate, sweets and crisps is one factor shaping the future of the snacking industry.” The increasing concern with health is also a key factor, with 62% of UK consumers saying that they seek food and drinks, which are both convenient and healthy.