The meat snacking category is set to be worth £454m by 2027, which indicates astounding growth of 49 per cent. That is the headline stat in new analysis of the category from Pilgrim’s Food Masters, owner of the Richmond brand and Fridge Raiders.
Meat snacking has become a category in its own right in the last few years and has expanded by 38 per cent since 2020, making it the fastest-growing food and drink category in the UK. This is evidenced by snacking giant, Fridge Raiders, seeing value sales up 14.1 per cent in 2022, giving the brand a 32.7 per cent share of the overall category.
While shopper penetration has increased, it’s clear there’s still space for future growth; indeed, only a third (35.4 per cent) of shoppers have purchased a meat snack in the past year. In addition, sales to date have been driven predominantly by new shoppers discovering and buying into the category. Pilgrim’s Food Masters predicts that the category can attract an additional 4.4 million households over the next five years, growing penetration to 53.8 per cent – a figure that’s aligned to other chilled snacking categories, such as dairy.
This confidence comes from looking at the opportunity within snacking more broadly. UK shoppers spend more than £21bn a year on snacks. In fact, 28 per cent of all consumer food and drink occasions in the UK are now snacks. Yet when we look at what’s driving these purchases, 51 per cent of consumers are looking for snack options that can be eaten on the go and a further 45 per cent claim to-go snacks must be satisfying. Meat-based options fulfil both of these needs, yet two thirds of UK households aren’t yet snacking on meat.
Instrumental to unlocking these new shoppers will be a focus on product availability. Ensuring the right product hits the right stores will not only maximise the opportunity when shoppers are hunting for a snack but will also help drive wider category awareness and visibility. Innovation will also play a huge part in this growth. With continued investment in NPD, brands can create category excitement, and introduce products that appeal to wider demographics, lifestyles and occasions.
“Over the last few years, we’ve seen a huge boom in snacking overall, but meat snacking has carved itself out a niche and, thanks to explosive growth, become a category in its own right,” says Conor Lowry, Category Controller at Pilgrim’s Food Masters. “Our figures show there is still lots of headroom for growth and we’re committed to developing the space, as evidenced by Fridge Raiders’ continued expansion into new formats and debuting our popular Richmond sausages in a ready-to-eat snacking format. Catering to different times of day and occasions will be crucial to bringing new shoppers into the category and boosting basket spend for retailers.”