In May, KP Snacks announced it is extending its flagship Better for You brand popchips with the launch of a new product range, popchips Veg Vibes.

Classically popped not fried, the brand new light and crunchy snack made of chickpea, rice, and sweet potato is launching in two flavours, Sriracha and Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar, which have been especially designed to meet bold flavour notes shoppers are looking for.

Insights show that plant based eating trends are becoming increasingly more prevalent, with more consumers actively choosing diets which incorporate veg and plant based foods.

Matt Collins, Trading Director at KP Snacks, tells Wholesale Manager about the brand’s health credentials and how it will be supported.

Congratulations on the launch of popchips Veg Vibes, which are popped not fried. What exactly does popped mean?

We’re really excited about the launch. In true popchips style, popchips Veg Vibes are popped. Instead of baking or frying, we add a little heat and pressure to our popchips snacks and then they pop.

The new product is a light and crunchy snack made of chickpea, rice, and sweet potato. It’s available in two flavours, Sriracha and Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar, which have been specially designed to meet bold flavour notes shoppers are looking for.

Insights show that plant-based eating trends are becoming increasingly prevalent, with more consumers actively choosing diets which incorporate veg and plant based foods. 46% of 25-44 year olds believe plant based eating is healthier and 38% believe it’s better for the environment1.

The popchips health and flavour credentials have driven the brand’s appeal to date. popchips Veg Vibes has been created to drive greater penetration of popchips and drive appeal amongst younger and more health-conscious shoppers.

What other health credentials does popchips have?

popchips is the number two better-for-you snacks brand and worth £33.2m2. The flavour packed core range hits the taste and calorie notes better than anything else on the market and, at under 100 calories per serving, has a third less fat than the market leader. It offers a more permissible snack option for consumers who are looking for a tasty healthier product and for retailers looking to capitalise on the better-for-you trend. We are proud to have no artificial anything in our popchips, as well as being Gluten Free and Vegetarian, with some Vegan variants also available.

How will the brand be supported?

It’s an exciting year for popchips. Alongside new products and the launch of new packaging design, we’re investing £2.3M in driving awareness of the brand. popchips made its TV debut in March with a new campaign highlighting popchips positivity with a rallying call for consumers to ‘Start Something Good’. We’re planning a second burst of activity in September.

What targets do you have to grow the brand in the year ahead?

CSN products have remained hugely important in the wider healthy snacking space. With popchips, our aim is to drive awareness and trial, keeping the brand front of mind for consumers looking for a tasty and balanced snack to share and ultimately drive sales and grow market share.

KP is partnering with the cricket tournament The Hundred. Which brands are involved in the partnership and what kind of activity will be running?

We’re Official Team Partner of The Hundred, an action-packed, new 100 ball cricket competition that will put fans on the edge of their seat. Bringing excitement in stadiums and on TV screens at home, The Hundred is a tournament for families to enjoy together. Through our partnership our aim is to champion healthier lifestyles and inspire families to get more active through cricket.

The partnership will be promoted across eight core KP Snacks brands: popchips, Butterkist, POM-BEAR, Tyrrells, KP Nuts, Hula Hoops, McCoy’s, and Skips, all of which feature on team shirts.

Will there be more cricket activity for KP beyond this summer?

The Hundred is a long-term partnership for KP so there’ll be lots more cricket to enjoy! During that time, we will use the strength of our partnership to help thousands of families up and down the country to get more active together, through free kit and equipment, access to inspirational matches, exciting challenges, and money-can’t-buy rewards.

Tell us more about the WIN £2021 promotion. What is the mechanics of the promotion?

The competition is running until 12 November and offers shoppers the chance to ‘win the year in cash’ by simply texting a number that will be promoted on all Hula Hoops, McCoy’s, Skips, Nik Naks, Discos, and Wheat Crunchies packs in Grab Bag and £1PMP format. Over the course of the promotion, there will be 24 cash prizes to be won, with a prize fund of nearly £50K.

What is the aim of the promotion – what snacking occasions is it targeting?

‘WIN £2021’ looks to champion positivity and support our trade retail partners in recovering and driving their singles sales. Food to go is a long-term, resilient growth trend, serving a transient population and on the go society. The category is insulated for recovery, and we expect the market to rebound to growth as restrictions ease and footfall and frequency returns.

With lunchtime still the No.1 occasion for singles3, we’re using the opportunity to increase meal deal and lunchtime sales. Core brands play a critical role within singles and meal deals, and account for 97% of singles sales. With this fun opportunity to ‘win the year’, we hope to give consumers an exciting reason to buy KP Snacks products as part of both lunchtime and on-the-go shopping occasions.

How much is the crisps, snacks and nuts market worth? Is the market in growth? What is driving the growth?

CSN is a fast growing, priority category with huge scale. It is a critical driver of wholesale and a key impulse category, worth 3.4bn and growing 3.5%4. Wholesalers should capitalise on key category drivers including food to go, big night in, perfect pairing and healthy.

KP Snacks has a broad portfolio, supporting customers to thrive and prosper. Our snacks are consumed by over 20m households and our diverse portfolio has unrivalled category growth in the last five years. The No.1 CSN category driver is taste, and we are in the business of making great tasting snacks, across all snacking segments (crisps, snacks, nuts, popcorn), delivered in all formats (singles, multipacks, sharing) and up and down the value spectrum.

What merchandising advice do you have for wholesalers?

Wholesalers need to consider two channels in this respect, depots and digital.

For best results in depot, CSN layouts should be based on need state, shopping mission and occasion, not brand blocked by manufacturer. Blocking similar types of products together, for example ridged crisps, will make it easier for retailers to find what they need. Mirroring an instore fixture by formats, price point and need state will improve the customer journey and most importantly lift sales.

For best results in the digital environment, wholesalers should follow three key principles to build bigger online snack sales. Firstly, nail the basics by ensuring your website is easy to navigate and allows visitors to find the products and information they are looking for. Secondly is classification, ensuring products are sited to the right online shelves to improve discoverability and customer experience. Finally, maximise online sales by educating your customers, personalising their experience, and activating in the right way to disrupt and inspire retail buyers.


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