Crisps bring comfort in recession

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.

Sales of crisps rose 5.7 per cent 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.

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.

Crisps are the UK's third most popular snack after fresh fruit and chocolate.