It’s not the destination that matters most — more than two-thirds of Americans believe snacks can make or break a road trip.
A new poll of 2,005 adults revealed that aspects like the snacks (38%), the company (34%), and the stops along the way (30%) are some of the most important parts of a road trip.
In fact, if given a choice, the top mode of transportation is the car (38%) as opposed to a plane (35%) or a train (18%).
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of HI-CHEW™, the results showed that seven in 10 (71%) agree that road trips give them a hall pass to eat as many snacks as they’d like.
Respondents are grabbing chips (47%), cookies (44%), and candy (42%) in addition to traveling with friends (39%), kids (33%), and pets (30%).
Eating on the go is so crucial that 44% even say it is in poor taste to ban eating in the car while on a road trip.
Sixty-one percent of respondents even admit they wouldn’t go on a road trip with someone who doesn’t allow snacking.
And though the majority (52%) say each person should bring their own snacks as well as being expected to share, two-thirds (65%) admit there are some treats they would never share with the rest of the car.
The snacks respondents are stashing for themselves are chocolatey (49%), fruity (46%), and chewy (42%).
“No matter which destination you are headed to next, snacks are an essential element of a road trip,” said Teruhiro Kawabe (Terry), Chief Representative for the USA & President, CEO of Morinaga America, Inc. “Whether you are keeping snacks for yourself or sharing them with your road trip company, select a new snack to try along the way. You might find your new favorite treat!”
If given the opportunity, the most popular road trip destinations include heading across the country (40%), followed by trips up and down the East (38%) and West Coasts (37%).
Others would be eager to take the scenic route and travel through the Appalachian Mountains (34%) or historic Route 66 (33%).
Regardless of the route, respondents would ideally like to stop every three hours to refill their snack stash.
But what is the golden rule of road-tripping? For many respondents (43%), it’s that everyone uses the bathroom before departure.
The other top golden rules of road-tripping were found to be wearing deodorant but not strong perfume or cologne (39%), the front seat passenger has to assist with directions (38%), and the driver always gets to choose the music (31%).
“Road trips may look different for everyone – from the route to the music and even the snacks,” Kawabe added. “But everyone can agree that the excitement along the way and memories created with friends or family make for an unforgettable experience.”
TOP SEVEN ROAD TRIP SNACKS
- Chips – 47%
- Chocolate – 47%
- Cookies – 44%
- Nuts/seeds – 43%
- Candy – 42%
- Fresh/processed fruit – 40%
- Granola bars – 38%
WHERE DO AMERICANS WANT TO TAKE A ROAD TRIP?
- Across the country – 40%
- Up and down the East Coast – 38%
- Up and down the West Coast – 37%
- Around the Great Lakes – 36%
- Around the deep south – 34%
- Through the Appalachian Mountains – 34%
- Route 66 – 33%
- Through the Midwest – 33%
- I-95 corridor – 28%
This random double-opt-in survey of 2,005 general population Americans was commissioned by HI-CHEW between April 4 and April 12, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).