Crisps and snacks remain one of the most important categories in any convenience store. Asian Trader finds out how indies can make the most of the sector.

Crisps and snacks remain a vital sales opportunity for retailers; 96% of people eat snacks, with 69% of those snacking at least once a day.
The category also remains a vital one within the convenience sector, with 82% of shoppers buying crisps and snacks on impulse (Mintel).
The food to go market is expected to grow +46% by 2022 where 22% of shoppers are currently buying crisp and snacks (Mintel).
In this growing market, the meal deal is key, 49% of shoppers want crisp and snacks in the meal deal, so a strong range offering variety to shoppers is key (Mintel).
Replenishment is the biggest mission and capitalising on this with off-shelf feature will help maximise the opportunity to grow sales.
“Convenience is the no. 1 channel for top up with top-up accounting for 32% of shopping missions (Mintel), and with consumers visiting stores more than ever before, we have the opportunity to increase sales by ensuring we offer retailers the right product range in the right case formats, boosted with the right promotions and in-store merchandising,” says Matt Collins, Sales Director for Convenience, Wholesale, Discounters & Foodservice at KP Snacks.
Retailers can help encourage cross-category purchases by grouping products such as snack foods, bottles of wine and beer, as well as sharing bags of crisps and nuts.
Placing crisps and snacks on promotion has become a great driver of incremental spend, with 24% of shoppers purchasing items on promotion (Mintel).
Mintel research has also shown us that healthy aspects of snacks (e.g. fibre) make an indulgent snack more acceptable.
It’s not just wholegrain snacks that provide us with fibre, products such as nuts provide a high amount of fibre, as well as protein, which is becoming more and more important to today’s shoppers, with 28% are interested in a high protein CSN product (Mintel).
Collins suggests retailers stock a strong core that covers the top selling lines which will deliver category growth – 60% of sales go through the top 50 best sellers (Mintel).
“Blocking similar type products together such as ridged crisps will make it easier for your shoppers to find what they need – 45% of purchases are made in under 60 seconds,” says Collins.
Retailers are advised to drive impulsive purchases in store as 38% of shoppers buy something from a secondary sighting (Mintel). “Make use of impactful branded display and POS such as stackers and dump bins to drive basket spend,” Collins suggests. “Use PMPs and promotional offers to create value and customers trust, utilising brand strength to heighten appeal.”
To drive sales, stores can site crisps, snacks and nuts next to categories that shoppers buy together most frequently – for example, 44% of snacks shoppers will also buy soft drinks (Mintel).
Retailers should aim to maximiser shopper’s baskets – 79% of shoppers like commonly purchased products merchandised next to each-other, therefore stores should secondary site bagged snacks with key categories such as soft drinks, sandwiches and BWS (Mintel).
“Ensure value options are located at the bottom of the shelf, moving to sharing bags at the top of the fixture,” adds Collins. “The best-selling singles bags must be positioned prominently and should be the first thing seen shoppers as they walk down the snacking aisle.”
Seasonal occasions and the Big Night In opportunity should be embraced by creating stand out displays and making use of suppliers’ POS material.
Promotions on complementary impulse categories should also be considered with link deals on soft drinks and snacks a quick win.
Stores are advised to sttock a range of price marked packs. PMPS are key as 33% of shoppers see them as a promotion (Mintel).
“Utilise manager’s choice space to implement your regional or store favourites,” suggests Collins. “Block similar type products together e.g. ridged crisps to make it easier for your shoppers to find what they need.”
Walkers is expanding its flavour range with the launch of two new flavours; BBQ Pulled Pork and Spicy Sriracha.
These flavours will be available throughout 2019, across multipack and single serve formats. A high-impact TV and digital marketing campaign featuring brand ambassador Gary Lineker and comedy actress Emily Atack, will be supporting the launch, as well as in-store activation, POS and sampling.
Walkers have used insight tools to identify flavour trends that are emerging throughout Britain to modernise its flavour range, with the distinctive flavours BBQ Pulled Pork and Spicy Sriracha coming out top of the list for 2019.
Britain’s taste palate is evolving and unique new flavours are becoming increasingly mainstream. According to research, 45% of UK shoppers are likely to experiment with new flavours, with global influences coming from both America and Thailand. With Sriracha sauce sales growing 8% year-on-year, these new flavours will help retailers capitalise on this growing opportunity.
Andy Hawkswell, Marketing Manager at Walkers comments: “With our leading-edge insight tools we’re able to get a deep understanding of the flavours that Brits enjoy eating and talking about. With these two delicious new flavours we are launching in February, we’ve been able to create crisps that truly bring the tastes of the nation to life. ”
“We have seen excellent results from our consumer testing, with 95% of consumers saying they would purchase BBQ Pulled Pork, and 90% of consumers saying they would purchase Spicy Sriracha. We are very proud of these new flavours and expect strong sales for retailers.”
Both BBQ Pulled Pork and Spicy Sriracha are available in the newly designed Walkers packaging, which has a premium finish and will help deliver greater visibility on shelf.
Walkers is celebrating its continued sponsorship as the official snack partner of the UEFA Champions League (UCL), with a new on-pack promotion that will run for 16 weeks. The activity will help retailers capitalise on one of this year’s major sporting events, as shoppers look to stock-up on snacks for their big nights in.
The ‘They Score – You Win’ promotion offers football fans the opportunity to win prizes by predicting when a goal will be scored during a UCL football match.
If they guess the correct minute for a goal in the match of their choice, they win £10.
All entrants also stand a chance of winning a pair of tickets to the UCL Final, being held in Madrid on June 1st. Featuring across Walkers Big Bag, Walkers Max and Walkers Max Strong, the on-pack promotion will help drive sales of sharing and single bags, as football fans stock up ahead the matches.
John Artley, Marketing Manager for Walkers, comments: “The UEFA Champions League is one of the world’s biggest TV sporting events of the year and the excitement that it generates brings football fans together, often spending the night in to watch the games with friends and family. The big night in occasion itself is worth a staggering £1.8bn a year (Kantar), so we recommend that retailers make the most of the opportunity that this event provides as shoppers will be looking to pick up their snacks ahead of the match.”
Reaffirming its generosity, Golden Wonder’s great giveaway for 2019 kicks off with the ‘Wonder What I’ve Won’ promotion across over 22 million packs of Golden Wonder Crisps and Ringos starting from 1 April.
With up to £1 million worth of prizes to be given away and every pack offering a £5 voucher off a range of over 7,000 gifts, the promotion is set to continue the brand’s momentum with Golden Wonder growing faster than the market at +16.8% (vs +5.6%) according to IRI.
Matt Smith, Marketing Director, said: “Golden Wonder remains a firm favourite with consumers and we are delighted with the significant sales growth we’ve delivered recently with double digit growth ahead of the market.”
“Following our successful 2018 on-pack promotion, our 2019 campaign is even bigger as we have included our iconic Ringos range this year. Ringos has had an outstanding year with the brand growing faster than the market (+57.9% vs +8.4%)IRI data reveals. As the ‘lighter snack that you can afford to eat’, Ringos offers consumers all of the taste that they expect from Golden Wonder but with a lighter texture that has, in impulse and multi-packs, less than 100 kcal per pack. The range also includes a number of price-marked packs which give shoppers added value for money assurance.”
The ‘Wonder What I’ve Won’ promotion offers the chance to win a surprise prize that will be delivered directly to home. Everyone is a winner as every pack offers a £5 voucher off a range of gifts so customers can treat themselves or a loved one. The promotion is being supported heavily across TV, online and social media. A new advert will run on TV in Scotland and across digital and social media nationally reaching millions of consumers during the 4 month promotion.
Golden Wonder’s commitment to retailers is set continue, providing them with category advice and recommendations on the range best suited to them.
For the upcoming promotion there will be significant trade marketing support including a direct mail offer to over 14,000 independent retailers as well as POS solutions.
Matt Smith, concludes: “We are delighted by the support that we have received from independent retailers over the past couple of years since we refreshed the brand and I’d like to thank them for backing us. Golden Wonder promises ‘more punch per crunch’ and our focus remains on continuing to offer great value to consumers and strong margins for retailers in an increasingly challenging retail market.”
Golden Wonder is owned by the Tayto Group, which is the largest British-owned snacks business. It has a wide portfolio of distinctive brands covering key segments of savoury snacking, including Golden Wonder Crisps and Snacks, Mr Porky, REAL Crisps, Midland Snacks, Portlebay Popcorn and Tayto.
Indian snacks
Indian snacks enjoyed a bumper year during 2018, driving 72% of all world snacks sales and delivering 75% of all category growth.
Increased consumer demand for ethnically authentic snacks, exciting flavours and different textures is behind this huge growth which has helped boost the overall value of the world snacks category to more than £63m, a 2% increase on the previous year.
“After British, Indian food is seen as the most mass-market cuisine in the UK – it continues to be ahead of Italian and Chinese!” comments Debbie King, Director of Commercial Sales & Marketing at Cofresh, the UK’s No 1 Indian snack brand which dominates the Indian Snacks & Nuts category with just under 40% share. “Once exotic and unfamiliar flavours are now ubiquitous and widely accepted but this doesn’t mean manufacturers should be complacent – the global larder will always need replenishing.
“There is a constant consumer desire for new flavours and our NPD programme reflects this. Mixes and snacks are currently in very good health and continue to power the category, growing by +12% and +8% respectively.”
According to King, the key to successful sales is understanding the shopper. For Cofresh, this breaks down broadly into three main categories – traditional ethnic (typically buying across the range but almost exclusively within their own cuisine), modern ethnic (who enjoy traditional foods but are more inclined to experiment with new flavours and cuisines), and non ethnic of whom there are two main types -‘occasionals’ who buy for specific events and to add authenticity, and ‘foodies’ who are always on the lookout for new products and taste adventures.
“For retailers, these present some great potential to drive growth. As the ethnic shopper base moves from first to second and third generations, their needs change and retailers have to react and respond to this,” says King.
“Authenticity is one of the biggest reasons for shoppers visiting the world snacks aisle – they’re seeking authentic regional flavours from authentic brands and while they are interested in healthy options, flavour remains the most important factor.
“It’s critical that retailers help shoppers engage in the category – either making it easier for them to find want they want or inspiring them to try new products on different occasions.”
New pack formats are also showing some growth but remain a huge opportunity to drive incremental sales. Street food – one of the UK’s biggest sources of culinary innovation and excitement – is now worth over £1bn and this too is driving new product development.
Packed lunches are another huge opportunity to target and this is underlined by the significant growth in sales of Cofresh’s popular Chilli & Lemon Grills now containing 30% less fat and available in a new multipack format.
“Smaller single-serve packs are ideal for both adults and kids, and add a whole new taste experience to a packed lunch,” adds King. “Interestingly, our new Chilli & Lemon Grills multipack has not cannibalised sales of its sharing bag equivalent in the stores it is listed in – clearly demonstrating how purchases are being made for different eating experiences.”
Occasions too are a key driver to category consumption and should be specifically targeted by retailers. Recent research from Mintel suggests 50% of people buy savoury snacks to treat themselves, 46% purchase them to give to their children as a snack or in their lunchbox, and 33% buy them to enjoy during a night in. More than a quarter of those questioned said they are interested in flavours inspired by authentic street food.
Cofresh now manufactures more than 200 different Indian snacks including ‘the nation’s favourite’ Bombay Mix, and following the successful launch in 2018 of its new Mixes – Khatta Meetha and Chilli & Lemon – and three new flavours of its popular potato-based ‘Grills’ range, is now finalising plans for launch later this year of some new and exciting consumer-driven snack concepts to drive interest and excitement in the category.
“We’re investing massively for growth during 2019 and beyond,” comments King. “We’ve recently invested over £4m in production facilities and robotic technology and have major plans in place to help drive the business forward.”
In a new move for Cofresh, the company is this year investing significantly in a in a high profile advertising and social campaign within the Asian and mainstream markets – something which King is confident will increase consumer awareness of the brand and so drive sales.