Busy lifestyles support snacks

Brands ready to make the most of on-the-go demand

Crisp packets
Over half of consumers snack to satisfy hunger between meals according to KP.

THE big shop is dead, and busy lifestyles have killed it.

That may not be the case just yet, but it’s the direction of travel according to snack brands who see the increasing frequency of shop visits as a big opportunity for convenience retailers.

Matt Collins, trading director at KP Snacks said that the large weekly shop is “in decline” and as a result, “convenience is thriving.”


Food to go is set to grow 46% by 2022.

That’s particularly good for the food to go and snacking categories according to Collins.
“Food to go occasions happen every day. On average, over half of consumers snack to satisfy hunger between meals, with a third of consumers doing so two to three times a day.

“The consumers that are purchasing on-the-go lead busy lifestyles and believe snacks are a necessity to keep their energy up throughout the day.

“They tend to be more affluent than the average convenience shopper, as they have the extra disposable income to make those impulse purchases.

“They are also younger; 54% are aged between 16 and 34, so catering to their needs with products that resonate with a younger audience such as Popchips and McCoy’s grab bags are crucial for capitalising on this opportunity,” he said.

An influx of younger, more affluent consumers is something few retailers would turn their nose up at, but is there really demand for premium snacks in Scottish c-stores?

pipers crisps
Premium crisps are performing well.

Katy Hamblin, marketing manager at Pipers Crisps thinks so, and she reckons those retailers that include premium options in their snack range will benefit from improved margins.

“Premium crisps are currently one of the best-performing types of snack.”


of the UK adult population frequently purchase lunch on the go.

“They represent a significant advantage over ‘standard’ and ‘value’ crisps in terms of their rate of sale and price/margin.”

“Premium crisps command around a 30% price premium over quality mainstream products,” she said.

Retailers will always be interested in improved margins, but with shelf space at a premium in convenience, it’s not always easy to find a spot for new and unusual snack options.


of UK shoppers now visit a convenience store several times a week.

It might be tricky, but it’s worth doing according to Jon Wood, commercial director at Calbee UK – the firm behind Seabrook Crisps and pea snack brand Yushoi.

Wood highlighted the performance of popcorn as an example of the difference shelf space can make to a snack subcategory’s success.

“Popcorn went into growth as retailers began giving it greater shelf space.

“Once shelf space was reduced, sales started to slow down. The same is true for heathier products and for sharing snacks and crisps.


Crisps and snacks are the second largest category shoppers purchase on the go, second only to soft drinks.

“As shelf space for nuts has increased, the sales of nuts have also increased.

“It shows that most of our category is driven by shelf space creating sales increases.

“With consumers becoming more health-conscious, it’s important retailers stock a range of options. Yushoi’s baked pea snaps cater to this perfectly with naturally healthy ingredients and added nutritional value,” he said.

Price is critical

The most important factors to shoppers purchasing crisps and snacks on food-to-go occasions is price at 85%, brand at 77% and pack size at 72%.