Planning to build a golden oldie

DESPITE a slight decline in sales of flat crisps (standard crisps not including hand-cooked or crinkle varieties) in Scotland, sales in convenience stores are up 4% according to Matt Smith, group marketing director at Golden Wonder brand owner Tayto.

But Smith says that to take advantage of the growth c-store retailers have to get their crisps range – across all the different styles – right.

He said: “Make sure you have a hand-cooked range and a range of sharing products including big bags of everyday crisps.”


He suggests some consumers reserve hand-cooked and other so-called ‘posh’ snacks for the weekend but that  when they have a midweek big night in for a TV event such as the Champions League they will munch on snacks that are seen as less fancy.

Since joining Tayto in November 2014, Smith has been focusing on Golden Wonder and how to grow the brand.

The first push has been to expand distribution.

This month the brand is introducing 15%-extra promotional packs of its key crisp flavours.

The long term strategy for Golden Wonder includes significant investment in the Scottish market next year. Tayto reckons Scotland has an affinity with Golden Wonder. The brand, which was founded in Edinburgh in 1947, has a 3% flat crisps market share in the UK but 12% in Scotland.

And Scotland over-indexes in crisps, nuts and snacks. Crisps, in particular, perform ahead of the national average north of the border.

Smith said: “Nationally flat crisps account for 24% of the category. In Scotland it is 27% and in Scottish impulse it is 31%.

“Scots love their crisps and they love them even more in convenience.”

But crisps, snacks and nuts is a highly promoted category, Smith says. Recent research shows around 64% of sales in the previous 52 weeks were on promotion and that 76% of all hand-cooked crisps sales in the last year had been on deals.

He said: “Price-marked packs give consumers confidence and extra-fill promotions work well for us in convenience.”

In snacks, do you want to try something different? Smith suggests retailers should be aware of smaller parts of the category. “For example I am putting Mr Porky pork scratchings into Scotland,” he said.

“From a small base pork scratchings is growing at 18% year on year and Mr Porky is the leading brand with 40% market share.”