Fresh fruit is the most popular snack for adults and children, according to research from a YouGov report on snacking.

The SixthSense report, published today (16 March) revealed that over half of adults in the UK (55%) snack on fresh fruit in between meals.

Around 69% of children snacked on fresh fruit, according to the report, while 64% snacked on crisps and 61% on chocolates and sweets.

Overall, 45% of respondents admitting to snacking on biscuits, 43% on crisps and bagged snacks and 41% on chocolate.

James McCoy, research director for YouGov SixthSense believes that whether or not children would actually choose fresh fruit over crisps or chocolate if given the choice is “irrelevant”.

“The mere fact that fruit comes top of the list suggests a strong awareness among children of what constitutes healthy eating,” he insisted.

However, McCoy conceded that children are “heavily influenced” by what they think adults would want to hear.

“Yes obviously children will say ‘I snack on fresh fruit’, but whether they only snack on it once a week…they are actually saying to us, ‘hey we recognise the fact that fresh fruit is quite important and we are eating it’,” he told just-food.

“Young children are very reliant on their parents and they will eat whatever their parents give them, so at that age they are able to be influenced and quite strongly as to what to eat but those are the snacking habits that they take with them as they get holder.”

The study showed that a third of respondents snack at work, college or school, while only 16% snack while travelling or commuting.

Hunger, the report noted, drives most people to snack, particularly men. Around 45% of adults and 64% of children cite this as the main driver when snacking on crisps and bagged snacks.

However, women are likely to cite more emotional drivers, such as boredom (44% vs 35% of men), coping with stress (12% vs 4% of men), and to “cheer myself up” (14% vs 7% of men), the report showed.

The report also noted that brand name has a strong bearing on deciding what snack to choose. Following the recent announcement of Kraft’s takeover of Cadbury, 43% of UK adults say that they will stop buying Cadbury’s products if they change in any way. Around 5% of respondents claim to be boycotting Cadbury’s products as a result of the takeover, according to YouGov.