NEW YORK, NY. — Americans are craving snack foods more than ever before, according to "Sweet and Salty/Savory Snacks in the U.S.: Lifestyle Marketing and New Product Development in the New Economy, 3rd Edition" by Packaged Facts.

The recession is responsible, in part, for this increased desire. Snack consumers are adopting a value mentality prizing quality and whole ingredients, better-for-you recipes and green production practices, according to the study.

Although low prices are always a draw, consumers are also seeking snacks with fewer additives or preservatives — and they are spending more money for organic and premium snacks.

As a result of satisfying this growing appetite for snack foods, the snack food industry is expected to approach $82 billion in sales by 2013, a 20% increase from the $68 billion achieved in 2008.