Niche brands, premium lines, unusual flavours and healthier versions are just some of the options designed to push up profit on crisps and snacks.
RETAILERS are missing a trick if they’re not stocking high quality, high margin crisps, particularly during the main picnic, barbecue and festival season. That’s the word from Alex Albone, managing director of Pipers Crisps, who is urging store operators to cash in on premium snacks, to take advantage of growing demand, higher margins and a unique selling point.
“Consumers interested in quality, provenance and flavour are increasingly demanding premium snacks in grocery stores and independent retailers,” said Albone. “Selling a premium product at a higher price gives a greater cash margin.”
He also argued that offering a brand such as Pipers, which is not on multiples’ shelves, gives retailers a point of difference. “We pride ourselves on not selling to major supermarkets so that independent, discerning operators can be certain that they have a genuine and unique selling point.
“Unlike many other, newer, brands we make our own crisps in our own production facility. We hand-cook our potatoes for a crispier texture – we know what we’re doing and we care about product quality, freshness and shelf life. Our flavours come from specialist sources, picked to be the tastiest and to provide authentic provenance.”
• Seabrook, an established brand known for its crinkle-cut crisps, is reintroducing its straight-cut crisps to convenience stores after a decade off the shelves.
The range is now available across wholesale, cash & carry and symbols nationwide. There are three flavours: Sea Salted, Cheese & Onion and Sea Salt & Vinegar. Each flavour comes in outers of 24, in 31.8g single bags, RRP 55p.
The company aims to use the revival of its straight-cut crisps to expand its market. It says one in five consumers only buys straight-cut crisps according to Nielsen.
• The firm behind the crisps inspired by Peri-Peri chicken brand Nando’s is tweaking its range with the introduction of a £1 price-marked 90g pack. Nando’s Peri-Peri Grooves are ridge-cut crisps, designed to appeal to a male audience looking for stronger tastes. The PMP is available in Spicy Chicken and Sizzling Hot flavours.
Declan Lockett, marketing director at All About Food, which produces at-home products under licence for Nando’s, said: “Strong flavours and a memorable crunch are what male consumers are looking for when it comes to crisps, and this is the perfect brand to deliver both.
“The strength of the brand, coupled with the fantastic product quality and striking packaging design, means Nando’s Peri-Peri Grooves really spice up the fixture and provide a compelling reason to buy.”
• Health-conscious consumers are the targets for Yumsh Snacks’ quirky, gluten-free Ten Acre range.
“As the number of people in the UK becoming more self-aware of their specific dietary requirements increases, so does the demand for products to cater for them,” said CEO Tony Goodman.
“In the past free-from consumers have arguably had to compromise on both taste and quality.
“Consumers are now more selective about what they choose to purchase and spend more time reading food labels than ever before. We predict there to be further growth in the UK free-from market, especially gluten-, dairy- and MSG-free, vegetarian and vegan.”
• Burton’s Biscuits has revived a retro baked snack, Burton’s Fish ’n’ Chips, in an attempt to make an impact on the savoury biscuit category, which it says is worth £420m. It also has a new product, Cathedral City Baked Bites, aimed at snackers.
“We’ve made a high-impact entry into savoury biscuits with two very strong brands that have real standout on the fixture,” said David Costello, Burton’s Biscuit Company’s head of customer category management.
“The two brands have really captured the public’s imagination, evidenced by the very strong rates of sale.”
Burton’s says it has invested £1m in its savoury manufacturing capacity. The company forecasts combined sales of the two brands in the first year of more than £15m.
Cathedral City Baked Bites are made with grated Cathedral City Cheddar. They come in a five-pack snack bag (RRP £1.69), a large sharing bag (RRP £1.59) and a 35g grab bag (RRP 59p).
Last produced over a decade ago, the company hopes Burton’s Fish ‘n’ Chips will not only appeal to the millions of people who remember the brand from the past but also attract a new generation of consumers who will enjoy what it says is its intense vinegar taste.
Packs include a 40g grab bag, a five-bag multi-pack and a 125g sharing bag.