Me and My Brand: Matt Smith of Tayto Group

Matt Smith is Marketing Director at Tayto Group, the Golden Wonder people, and he is also a pork scratching afficionado. He tells us how the crisps and snacks category is being grown incrementally with Tayto NPDs including Ringos, and how the company is specialising in all things pig!

Matt Smith

Can you please give an overview of your brand?  

Tayto Group is Britain’s largest family-owned snacks business with one of the broadest portfolios in the category, including household names such as Golden Wonder and Tayto. We are the UK’s leading pork snack supplier with the top three brands – Mr Porky, Midland Snacks and The Real Pork Co. This unique range and our category expertise, provides retailers with a snacking one-stop-shop and is why we say that we have “Snacking Sorted”.

How is the crisps and snacks market currently performing?  And how is your brand currently performing?  

It’s a mature £3bn market in steady growth and has almost universal appeal as we are a nation of snackers!

Pork snacks is the fastest-growing segment, almost three times faster than the market1 and in-home has much further growth potential. Over 80 per cent of pork snacks are consumed with a drink2, and consumers talk about buying them “at the office”, meaning their local convenience store.

Recent events have driven a change in shoppers’ behaviour with a shift towards the Convenience channel as it is perceived to be easier and safer. Similarly, the trend towards larger sharing packs has accelerated since lockdown as consumers look to relax at home instead of going out. Our Golden Wonder £1 sharing range that includes much loved brands such as Ringos and Transform-A-Snack have been part of this shift with strong sales growth (+22 per cent YoY)3.

Do you have any new product development?  

As category leaders in pork snacks, we are driving further growth with a completely refreshed range including clipstrips for easy merchandising with BWS. One in five consumers will not buy another snack if pork scratchings are not available5, so it makes them a “must-stock”,VAT-free item!

All of our brands have been updated to maintain their relevance whilst preserving the artisanal nature of the products that consumers are looking for. The new pack designs have broader appeal and initial rates of sales have increased – a boost for retailers.

Mr Porky is the No1 Brand with 44 per cent share6 including our best-selling Original Scratchings, which have just won a 2020 Great Taste Award, so shoppers will continue to see a familiar face on shelf.

Mr Porky Hand Cooked Scratchings is a new premium product, with a Great Taste award-winning recipe, hand cooked in small batches. It is set to be the ultimate pork scratching!

Mr Porky Crispy Strips are a relatively new innovation, having been around for less than five years with excellent sales. They have a light and crispy texture akin to bacon rind when grilled, appealing to those who may consider a scratching too heavy fora daytime snack.

Midland Snacks Traditional Scratchings is another Great Taste award-winning product. These artisanal hand cooked scratchings are the ultimate pub snack and Tayto’s best-selling pubcard!

For a modern twist, The Real Pork Co. Golden Crunch and Crispy Crackling offer a lighter eat.

How are you supporting your brand & NPD?  

Since we relaunched Golden Wonder in 2016, we have increased marketing spend year-on-year, focusing budgets on TV advertising, digital and social media. We’ve also run three very successful on-pack promotions with major partners including Pizza Hut and Deliveroo. This has helped drive particularly strong growth from Ringos, at only 59 calories per pack, up by over a third in the last year!

Our current focus is on driving category growth through our new pork snacking range, which will be backed by a multi-channel campaign next year with ATL support as well as digital social activity aimed at reminding consumers that other snacks just don’t come up to scratch!

How important are independent retailers to your brand?  

Given our biggest brand, Golden Wonder, over-trades in the independent sector we have a team dedicated to supporting it and ensuring we have a strong promotional plan through all the major wholesalers. We recognise the potential for further growth as people look to shop more locally and have high hopes for an even stronger performance for the category and our brands in the coming year.

What trends are occurring in the sector?  

Whilst there are undoubtedly some significant short-term impacts driven by Covid-19, the long term drivers remain Taste, Value and Health. Snacks are treats and therefore taste is king! The brands and products that deliver great taste will always win out, even as health becomes more important – snacks have to be “worth the calories”. Value has always been important, and will become more so in the coming months. Brands that can deliver great taste and value will be successful as we seek out comforting treats that remind us of better times, and we expect pork scratchings to keep on growing!

Describe your brand in three words… 


1 IRI Market Place | Total GB | Total Crisps, Snacks & Popcorn | Value | Pork Snacks +7.1% vs CSP +2.6% YoY | MAT to 17 May 20

2Norstat | 4,009 pork snacks occasions | Jan 20

3 IRI Market Place | Total GB | Total Snacks | Value | MAT to 17 May 20

4 IRI Market Place | Total GB | Total Snacks | Value | Ringos +37.3% vs Snacks +4.3% YoY | MAT to 17 May 20

5Norstat | 1,808 pork snacks consumers | Shoppers in Supermarkets, Convenience, P&T, Discount stores | Jan 20

6 IRI Market Place | Total GB | Total Pork Snacks | Value | MAT to 17 May 20