Others knock on crisps’ front door

As the traditional snacks market diversifies the Scottish convenience scene looks ready to get a new leader

SNACKING products on sale in c-stores and other outlets have come to include more than crisps, snacks and nuts in recent years.
But those products remain the core of the snacks market and given the results shown in latest figures from market intelligence firm IRI, they remain very important to Scotland’s c-stores.
IRI’s exclusive read of the Scottish convenience market covers the two main TV areas of the country, so the great majority of Scotland, and all types of c-store other than major supermarket companies’ c-store sized shops.
And it shows that in what is undoubtedly a tough retail market total snacks continued to increase sales in c-stores north of the border and at a faster rate than the total United Kingdom market.

Martin Wood, head of strategic insight – retail, IRI, pictured above right, highlights key Scottish convenience snacks trends to SG
Martin Wood, head of strategic insight – retail, IRI, pictured above right, highlights key Scottish convenience snacks trends to SG

In the 52 weeks to late March this year snacks sales in Scottish convenience stores increased by 1.5% to reach a total of £56.5m, so that’s now quite comfortably over £1m a week.
In the entire UK market snack sales also increased but only by 0.8% so the rate of growth in Scottish c-stores was almost twice as great as the overall trend.
But, despite that growth, crisps, the biggest single sub-category saw sales value decline by almost 6% – so much so that it is now neck and neck with, and may eventually be overtaken in sales value by, “other snacks”, which includes products like Pringles, Quavers and Hula Hoops.
Martin Wood, head of strategic insight, retail at IRI said snack sales in Scottish c-stores reflected sales performance in the wider market.
“It mirrors the trends in the total UK snacks market in that standard crisps are in decline by over 5%, but there are other growth sectors which have been taking share to make the overall snacks market show some growth,” he said.
“The strongest growth sectors are baked snacks, popcorn, mixes and dips, but these are growing from a very low base as they expand distribution in the independent sector.
“The recent launch by Walkers of their new ‘sharing crisps’ has added some value to the crisps sector since January 2016, but it is not enough to change the overall trends.”
Among the fastest growing types of snack in the IRI figures are baked snacks which increased sales by almost a third in c-stores north of the border to reach a sales value of £3.1m. Popcorn also showed significant year-on -year sales growth – more than 21%. Nuts sales value in Scottish convenience outlets rose 5%.
And, from much lower bases, mixes and dips showed strong percentage growth.