TIME-PRESSED British adults are snacking more and that’s a trend that looks set to continue say three of the biggest players in branded chilled foods.
Dairy Crest, Mondelez International and Kerry Foods each highlight similar market developments.
Clare Bocking, sales director for convenience at Kerry Foods said: “We are seeing a whole new generation of snacks that are meeting an increasingly diverse range of adult consumer needs, covering everything from top-up grazing to full-on meal replacement.
“One in five shoppers is now on a food-to-go mission, up by 4% to create a category that is now worth £5.2bn in convenience stores.”
Shopper marketing director at Dairy Crest Adam Mehegan added: “The average commute for UK workers is now 54 minutes and nearly 20% of full-time workers are putting in more than 45 hours per week.
“With this increase in time on-the-go and a move away from more traditional mealtime routines, spontaneous snacking has become part of daily life for lots of people.”
Mehegan said that the cheese category has particularly benefited, with snacking cheese sales up 1.7% year on year overall and 8% in convenience stores. Grown-ups seem particularly important as Mehegan noted that, while there had been growth of more than 36% in adult snacking food sales, kids snacks had shown a slight decline of 0.1% to a value of £178m.
Susan Nash, trade communications manager at Mondelez, says shoppers for chilled foods spend nearly twice as much as the average convenience store shopper.
She said: “In the UK, snacking categories alone are worth £60bn. Over the past year, the chilled and dairy market has performed particularly well in convenience, and is currently worth £65.8m, with a growth rate of 7.1%.”
She said the Mondelez International brand Dairylea Dunkers leads the snacking cheese segment. And she highlighted product development including the recent launch of pineapple cheese spread with Mini Ritz crackers and mature cheese spread with Mini Ritz crackers.
Nash reckons retailers should ensure all top sellers are represented, stock the top selling SKUs and stock snacking cheese adjacent to other snacking categories such as yogurt, sandwiches and pasties.
Dairy Crest’s tips for successful merchandising include using signs that highlight food-to-go, making snacks visible to consumers passing store windows, positioning chilled and meal deal offers at the front of the store and merchandising complementary categories together.
Mehegan said: “A snack-for-now mission is all about convenience, visibility and small packs therefore retailers need to ensure they have the correct products and employ effective tactics.”
He said Dairy Crest’s Cathedral City range offers products aimed at the on-the-go snack and lunchtime meal categories and flagged up Cathedral City Select British Cheese Variety, launched towards the end of 2014. That takes Cathedral City beyond Cheddar for the first time with Red Leicester, said to be the most popular regional cheese and to be bought by more than one in four UK households, and with Double Gloucester, said to be bought by almost one in five households.
Kerry values its Cheesestrings brand at £46m and says it’s the most frequently purchased cheese snack in the UK.
Bocking was also keen to highlight other brands in the firm’s chilled snacks portfolio. She said: “With more than 70% of consumers regularly missing one meal a day and 43% of consumers wanting a wider range of healthier options, LowLow Cheddar, multigrain toast and a choice of three relishes is meeting the demand for convenient snacks that can be consumed anywhere.”
Valuing meat snacking at £186m, Bocking said Mattessons is the number one brand in the category at £43m.
“Mattessons Double Dippers are answering demand for enjoyable snacking that goes beyond hungry fill,” she said.
“As a result, Double Dippers have attracted new people into the meat snacking category and has broken the pound price ceiling by creating a proposition that is worth paying more for.”
She said a digital marketing campaign for Mattessons Fridge Raiders had received 7.6m social media views since its launch in October 2014.