Pop goes the snack habit

Crisps lose market majority status as popcorn and other snacks pile the pressure on in the snacks world

BRITONS love a snack but two recent industry reports have found that traditional potato crisps have lost their command of the market.

popPopcorn sales continue to rise  rapidly. One commentator reports a 169% increase in value in five years.

In February, market intelligence agency Mintel said sales of other snacks had overtaken crisp sales in 2015.

And Key Note, which splits the category into potato crisps, snack nuts and other savoury snacks, reported: “While growth was recorded across all three market sectors, the other savoury snacks sector saw the greatest growth, due to significant new product developments.”

“With sales of £1.34bn crisps  remain  hugely important but other snacks are now worth more in UK sales”

Mintel figures show that sales of potato crisps reached £1.34bn in 2015 while sales of potato-based and other snacks reached £1.39bn.

It reads: “Research shows that whilst sales of potato-based and other snacks have been making a packet over the past five years, rising by 25% between 2010 and 2015, sales of potato crisps rose by just 8% over the same period.

crisps“Crisps have been in decline for two years, falling from a high of £1.39bn in 2013.”

The report also reveals that 92% of Britons had eaten a crisp or crisp-style snack in the three months to October 2015 – with 78% eating standard crisps and 48% eating other crisp-style snacks such as cheese puffs – and that 45% had eaten tortilla chips.

The study also found that the development of new potato-based snacks has been in decline since 2010.

“Whilst 20% of snacks launched in 2010 were potato snacks, this fell to just 12% in 2015,”  it said.

“On the other hand, popcorn has seen a burst in product innovation as 7% of snack products launched in the UK were popcorn products in 2015, up from just 3% in 2010.

“As a result sales of popcorn rose by 169% over the past five years to reach an estimated £129m in 2015.” 

And Mintel also found that 49% of British consumers would be interested in trying new popcorn flavours.

Key Note predicts that health concerns will influence future snack sales.

“With consumers becoming increasingly interested in the health credentials of the foods they eat, manufacturers have responded with various product launches,” the research firm said.

“The introduction of protein-based crisps, such as those made of lentils, is expected to lead the way with manufacturers looking to produce snacks that offer some nutritional benefits.”

Key Note reckons the total UK snack foods market will increase at a steady rate with market value reaching £4.1bn by 2019.

By 2019, it said, the value of the ‘other savoury snacks’ sub-category will reach £2.05bn, which  will represent a 22.7% rise from 2015, and will mean that over 10 years  sales value will have increased by 75.1%.