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Snacking Is the Real American Pastime

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Americans love their snacks so much so that about half of them enjoy them outside their regular meals at least twice a day.

That’s according to a survey conducted by market research firms Technomic, Packaged Facts and SymphonyIRI.

As for where Americans like to have their snacks, 70 percent of consumers prefer munching goodies at home, but there are signs that more people are sneaking snacks at work.

Mid-afternoon snacking seems to be most popular with 75 percent of Americans, while four in 10 admit they also like their favorite treats during the morning, evening and late night.

The highest-grossing snacks last year might surprise you: trail mix and hummus, with sales up 11.1 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively.

Snacks apparently don’t necessarily have to be food, according to the survey: three in 10 snacks consumed in 2011 were beverages.

Fifty percent of consumers say they eat snacks to provide them with an energy boost, while two-thirds of women are also careful not to eat portions that they consider too large.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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