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Pass the Blueberries

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What’s the top snack food consumed in America? If you guessed Doritos or Oreos, you’re wrong ... very wrong. Fresh fruit tops the list -- and it’s not only the top snack segment in the United States, it’s also one of the fastest growing, according to new research from The NPD Group.

NPD’s “Snacking in America” report finds that growing concerns about health and eating right have lifted the popularity of fruit as a snack. One of the reasons that fruit holds the top spot is that it’s eaten throughout the day. (Let’s be honest: Chips just don’t pair well with cereal and toast.) The report indicates that during the two-year period ending March 2012, fresh fruit was consumed as a snack in 10 more occasions a year than chocolate, the next top snack food, and 25 more occasions a year than potato chips.

Another factor contributing to the popularity of fresh fruit is that it is an all-ages favorite: The report found that consumers 65 and older eat the most fruit, followed by children under 12. Teens aged 13 to 17 eat the least amount of fruit, but their consumption increases as they get older.

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