2020 saw a number of major changes to how people shop in the Impulse channel, with many of these shifts impacting the savoury snacks category.
Over half of shoppers (54%) now use a convenience store every week. It’s not just shopper footfall that has risen either, as consumers are spending more, with basket spend increasing by +11% as well.
The increased footfall and basket spend in Symbols and Independents presents a great opportunity for retailers to boost their crisps and snacks offering too.
In fact, the crisps, snacks and nuts segment has grown by +5.3%, with much of this growth driven by demand for larger pack crisps and snacks formats within the channel.
“Our advice remains that retailers should focus on stocking their bestselling SKUs to meet shopper demand,” comments Guy Harvey, Impulse Category Management Channel Lead for PepsiCo. “To help retailers maximise their crisps and snacks sales, we’ve updated our core range of bestsellers (our HERO 25 range), to include a number of RRP PMP, singles, multipacks, sharing format products that cover the different shopper missions we’re seeing in the channel.”
Value for money is becoming increasingly important for shoppers as the financial impacts of COVID-19 continue, with 62% of shoppers acting more carefully with their money. This desire for value impacted PMPs which were the no.1 contributor to crisps and snacks segment growth last year, growing +16.3%.
To help Symbols and Independent retailers offer greater value to shoppers, PepsiCo is adding +20% Extra Free to many of its bestselling £1 RRP PMPs snacks.
“We know that shoppers love snacks such as Quavers, Wotsits, Monster Munch, Squares and French Fries, so by offering +20% Extra Free, we’re helping retailers to pass the great value onto their customers,” explains Harvey. “We think retailers can benefit by stocking all nine of these RRP PMPs snacks and driving awareness in-store.”
PepsiCo has launched a number of multipack and larger sharing RRP PMP formats to help retailers sign post value to their shoppers. For the first time, two multipack SKUs will include a price-marked flash; Walkers Classic Variety and Quavers Cheese 6-packs and larger Doritos and Walkers Sensations PMP sharing bags have launched with an RRP of £2, having increased in size by 20g.
With people spending more time at home, take-home missions have become far more important within Symbols and Independents, currently accounting for 60% of shopper missions. Shoppers have turned to Symbols and Independents for top-up purchases over the last year. This trend was growing even before lockdown, but COVID-19 has helped to accelerate the growth of take-home products. Multipacks have grown by +15.6%, while bigger bag sharing products have also been in growth of +16.42%.
“We’ve also seen the rising demand for sharing formats, as consumers spend more time snacking and socialising at home, yet convenience retailers aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity,” adds Harvey. “88% of Independent & Symbols customers’ spend on sharing happens outside of the channel, so this represents a real opportunity for retailers to encourage consumers to increase their spend on sharing products within the impulse channel. The key to capitalising here is offering a greater number of sharing formats to meet this demand.”
Michael Owens, Valeo Snackfoods Head of Impulse, comments: “Kettle has always used real food ingredients and authentic recipes in all our products. One of the trends we are seeing is ‘Accessible Gourmet’ whereby consumers are seeking authentic food experiences from around the world to enjoy at home. Lockdowns have forced us to spend more time in our homes giving rise to an increase in shared treating occasions, coupled with the fact that travel, particularly abroad, has been restricted. People are therefore looking for culinary dishes and tastes to enjoy that allow them to travel around the world without leaving their kitchen.”
Consumer demand for flavours from around the world led Valeo to launch Kettle Chips Steakhouse Barbecue this summer – inspired by authentic American BBQ grill tastes. The new seasoning pairs slow cooked beef brisket with iconic barbecue flavours and is currently the only premium crisps brand with a real meat BBQ SKU in the sharing crisps and snacks category. Kettle Chips Steakhouse Barbecue is available in both 150g sharing bag and the popular 80g £1 price marked pack formats.
Metcalfe’s Ricecakes have been redeveloped to taste even better, soon to relaunch with Belgian chocolate and a new Yogurt and Strawberry variant – a smooth yoghurt topping sprinkled with real strawberry pieces, yet they remain under 100 calories per serving and so are designed to make it easy for consumers to both enjoy and still feel good about the snacks they’re eating.
Kettle, the UK’s leading Hand Cooked Crisp Brand (IRI), is launching a new TV and radio campaign which will run from October to December, to ensure the brand is top of mind at this key time of year.
In the busy run up to Christmas the campaign is designed to both prompt a reappraisal of Kettle amongst new consumers and remind existing shoppers of all the reasons why they love the brand. Significant investment of over £2.5m means an audience of 78% of ABC1 adults will be reached via high profile slots, including The Great British Bake Off, and will capitalise on shoppers’ desire to trade up during the festive season when consumers indulge more.
The TV and radio campaign runs alongside Kettle’s all-year-round sponsorship of ITV’s James Martin’s Saturday Morning which reaches a third of UK households and reinforces the brand’s premium, foodie credentials, targeting consumers who are planning get-togethers or buying snacking treats for themselves.
Back by popular demand, Kettle 150g sharing bags are once more having a festive make-over. Following the success of last year’s designs, the eye-catching Christmas packaging is being re-introduced across the core range, including the ‘with love from …’ tag on the front which allows consumers to personalise and gift the bags.
Owens says: “We know consumers consider Kettle as good enough to gift, and this year they have eight flavours to choose from as our new Steakhouse Barbecue seasoning, made with real slow cooked beef, will also be specially wrapped. The limited-edition packaging creates strong shelf standout, especially when displayed as a block, and is bound to encourage impulse purchase.”
Owens continues: “Christmas and New Year provide some of the best sales opportunities, particularly when it comes to snacking, and Kettle has all the ingredients to maximise the occasion – 100% British potatoes and real food seasonings, brought together in stunning festive packaging – all supported by media to remind shoppers that it can only be Kettle when it comes to delicious snacks.”
The other snack brands in Valeo Snackfoods’ portfolio are Metcalfe’s – tasty popcorn and ricecakes, including a selection of products under 100 calories – and Manomasa – premium tortilla chips made by UK producer ‘It’s All Good’, which was acquired by Valeo Snackfoods at the end of last year.
Metcalfe’s popcorn and ricecakes range is centred around the insight that consumers are looking for tasty snacks they don’t have to feel guilty about, which is brought to life by angel and devil characters on boldly coloured packs to ensure on-shelf stand out.
Metcalfe’s Ricecakes are about to be relaunched with Belgian chocolate and a new Yogurt and Strawberry variant, made with real strawberry pieces, yet they remain under 100 calories per serving and so are designed to make it easy for consumers to both enjoy and still feel good about the snacks they’re eating.
Manomasa offers a range of premium tortillas ‘with spirit’, in both sharing and single serve formats, using real ingredients from all around the world to make unique flavour combinations such as the popular ‘Manchego & Green Olive’ and ‘Chipotle & Lime’. Every ingredient is chosen with the utmost care and attention to ensure the chips are all unique in flavour, texture and shape. Latin American food is hugely popular, and consumers love the Manomasa range as demonstrated by the strong sales growth of 36.8% year on year (IRI). Notably, the innovative and adventurously flavoured varieties are all certified as gluten free and offer options for both vegetarian and vegan diets.
Matt Collins, Trading Director at KP Snacks, comments: “Bagged snacks remain a vital driver of growth within Convenience and demand shows no sign of slowing.”
CSN is a fast growing, priority category with huge scale. Worth £3.5bn and growing at +4.1% YOY, CSN shoppers are spending an extra £100 in the category, +14% YOY. And with 67% more people choosing convenience for ‘main shop and one in five baskets containing a bagged snack, CSN represents an important opportunity for retailers to grow sales and footfall.
“We’re seeing dynamic change across the category, and retailers can bank on bagged snacks to drive sales and footfall by stocking the right range and formats,” says Collins. “Using the strength of our brand portfolio, we hope to help our retail partners adjust to these new norms and help them retain the new shoppers that they have won and bigger baskets that have been gained. KP Snacks has the broadest portfolio across all segments, with something for everyone and all occasions. Our snacks are consumed by over 20m households and our diverse portfolio has delivered 48% of 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.”
KP’s NPD strategy is always to develop sustainable new products, anchored in insight and delivered in a variety of formats to drive sales for its customers. Stocking the right core range, with a sprinkling of NPD, will deliver both variety and excitement to entice shoppers.
The company’s newest range, McCoy’s Fire Pit, has been hugely successful since launch, with sales of £4.8M since launch. Continuing to deliver its full-on flavour mission McCoy’s Fire Pit features three great tasting products inspired by the trend of open fire, or “wood fired” cooking. Taking ordinary BBQ flavours to the next level, the range is available in three sizzling flavours including Flame Roasted Peri Peri, Flame Smoked Chorizo, and Flame Scorched BBQ Rib. The launch taps into the fastest growing CSN flavours of Spicy (+7.1%), Meaty (+5.8%) and BBQ (+4.5%), with smoky, chargrilled flavours traditionally associated with cooking meat slowly over an open fire.
Due to shifts in shopper behaviour and changing consumer demand, multipacks and sharing have performed strongly throughout the year. Customers gravitate towards well-known and trusted brands with 41% of CSN sales going through the top 5 brands. McCoy’s multipacks are growing +2.9% YOY, Tyrrells sharing +16%, and popchips sharing +11.7%.
£1 PMPs have also seen significant growth in the last few years and this format will stay increasingly relevant post pandemic. KP offers retailers 24 PMPs. The company’s £1 PMP portfolio is currently worth £61.6m RSV, and is growing at +7%, out-performing market £1 PMP growth.
KP recently expanded its PMP range with the addition of three of the most popular flavours of premium snack brand Tyrrells, with 60g bags of Lightly Salted, Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar, and Mature Cheddar & Chive now available in £1PMP. Discos was extended with the launch of Discos Salt & Vinegar £1PMP (70g) earlier this year.
Matt Smith, Marketing Director for Tayto Group, comments: “As shoppers return to more ‘normal’ behaviour, it’s a great opportunity for convenience retailers to re-establish themselves – again – as the go-to place to pick up the drinks and snacks that add to the enjoyment of a day out or a big night in.
Impulse sales are starting to bounce back. Value for money is increasingly important as many consumers are concerned about their financial situations, so brands that can deliver great taste and value will continue to be successful. An example of this is Golden Wonder Ringos, which has seen growth by delivering a fully-flavoured snack from 59 calories per pack at a great price.
PMPs are a proven way for independent retailers to demonstrate that they are offering great value when compared to larger stores. Smith says: “Shoppers in Convenience are concerned that they will pay inflated prices for shopping locally and PMPs assure them that this isn’t the case. An additional benefit is it makes it quicker for shoppers on a ‘grab and go’ mission as they don’t have to search for a shelf ticket as the price is right there on the pack.”
Entry price-points are important to pick up ‘pocket money’ purchases and Tayto has seen strong performance in its 30p Fun Snacks range that includes Tangy Toms, Spicy Bikers, Awesome Oinks and Quarterbacks, due to the added benefit of a 2 for 50p on-pack promotion.
Capturing the booming sharing snacks market means retailers need to be stocking – and giving prominence to – a strong range of £1 PMP snacks. Tayto has seen Golden Wonder Spicy Bikers become a top ten seller within months of launch (IRI), joining Ringos and Transform-A-Snack as our top performers in the £1 sector.
The success of PMPs is borne out by their dominance of savoury snack sales in Symbols & Independents as Smith explains, “PMPs account for over half of sales, showing that they are essential for the independent retailer at key price points: entry (30p), mid (39p) and sharing (£1). Products such as Golden Wonder’s Spicy Bikers are performing well at both 30p and £1 by offering the brand’s legendary ‘punch per crunch’ and great consumer value, as well as strong margins for retailers”.
Jon Roberts, Brand Manager at Cofresh, comments: “Another interesting trend we have seen is a switch to healthier bases for crisps – great news for products like our Poppadum Curls which use a lentil base and come in a range of three authentic and distinctive flavours (Chilli & Lemon, Sweet Chilli and Mango Chutney). With the forthcoming regulations regarding HFSS we expect the inclusion of healthier base ingredients to become even more important. The four P’s (post-pandemic product provenance) will also be key to NPD as we move forward, as will be highlighting health and dietary benefits such as vegan & vegetarian, high protein, Halal and Kosher. Offering a range of products that both satisfy consumers’ needs and exceed their expectations will be critical in the coming months.”
Cofresh has launched a new range of snacks and flavours which are set to hit the shelves this month. These include the new Mango Chutney Grills (80g), a crunchy potato-based snack, and Onion Bhaji Corn Crackers (60g), which faithfully recreate all the flavour of the famous Indian appetiser. The share pack formats have been designed to help retailers capitalise on the popularity of shared snacking occasions, while their bold colours and contemporary design ensure high on-shelf visibility for maximum shopper appeal.
The company has also introduced the new Masala Chips and Chilli Chips, straw-shaped snacks which feature traditional Indian spices, and a trio of Party Mixes – assorted potato-based Grills, Spirals and Hoops – in three punchy flavours that Cofresh is renowned for – Cheese & Jalapeno, Sour Cream & Chive and Sweet Chilli. All are available in generous 70g share packs. Also new is our ‘Grills’ multipack featuring 5 x 20g packs of assorted flavours including Sweet Chilli, Peri and Chilli Cheese – perfect for retailers’ on the go and back to school offerings, while for customers who prefer more traditional Indian snacks, a new version of the popular Sev Mamra – Thin Sev Mamra – is now available in 325g bags.