Consumers are looking to snack on the go and in a quick format. And with colder weather approaching, hot snacks is a growing area.

According to Kepak Convenience Foods (KCF), it is maintaining strong growth in the UK’s £107m hot snacking category, despite the current economic climate, by introducing a series of innovative new product developments and continued category education.

Three new products from KCF this year are The Bacon Roll, The Hotdog and The Cheeseburger with a permanent price-mark of £1.49. KCF has also added to both its Subs range and its UGOs Deli Café brand.

Aoife Kenny, business development director at KCF, says: “In the current climate it’s important to help retailers source the most cost effective products and pass this on to consumers. The introduction of our price-marked ranges are a great example of this.”

Valerie Kubala, senior brand manager of Wall’s Pastry, says: “Our research showed that while over 90% of households purchased pastry products, most didn’t buy them regularly because they were considered poor quality and not good value for money – until now. Our success proves that there was a gap in the market for a high quality pastry snack product.”

The Wall’s Full of Filling range includes a sausage roll, pasties, slices, pork pies and a scotch egg.

According to Wall’s its Full of Filling rage has become the number two brand in the impulse market 18 weeks after its launch. The range holds a 15% value share of the impulse market and is worth £8.1m.

Sampling, which began with the Leeds Party in the Park, is taking place until October and consumers will be entered into a prize draw to win a Wall’s branded iPod Nano at each event.

According to Heinz, its Heinz Beanz Snap Pots have been an instant hit with consumers and have generated over £18.9m of retail sales since launch and now account for 4% value share of the bean accompaniments sector. Adding to this is the launch of Heinz Reduced Sugar amp; Salt Beanz Snap Pots.

Lucy Cawkwell, brand manager of Heinz Beanz, says: “The Heinz Snap Pots popularity and success is plain to see. It has been an instant hit with consumers and we are committed to unlocking further growth in the beans category through innovation and a close understanding of consumers and their needs. We are confident that the Heinz Reduced Sugar amp; Salt Beanz Snap Pots variety will bring new consumers to the category, particularly those that are not currently frequent beans consumers, boosting incremental sales for retailers.

“We are driving the healthy beans sector with our Heinz Reduced Sugar amp; Salt Beanz in cans and want to continue to grow it by offering consumers convenient packaging formats that meet their needs. Combining health, convenience and taste, Heinz Reduced Sugar amp; Salt Beanz puts a tick in all the right boxes for our consumers.”

According to Unilever, Pot Noodle is currently worth £75.6m and is growing by 9.8% year on year.

Following on from the spinning fork campaign last year, Unilever has offered consumers the chance to receive free access to five of EA Mobile’s arcade games on their mobile phones.

Mike Miller, sales controller for Pot Noodle, says: “We’re looking to build on last year’s spinning fork on-pack promotion which won a gold medal from the Institute of Sales Promotion. We believe this well targeted activity and marketing support will enable us to appeal directly to our core consumer and will build the Pot Noodle brand while driving incremental category growth.

“In addition we’ve tweaked our packs to communicate Pot Noodle’s great taste. The brand has been ‘tastified’ and now features either a “Big Taste” or “New Bigger Taste” stamp on pack. These sit alongside a “Cheaper than a Sarnie” flash, to remind consumers of the great value Pot Noodle represents.”

Kate Raison, marketing director at Bakehouse, says: “The continental savouries category is growing at more than 12% year on year and is now worth £9.4m. The growth has been driven largely by Savoury Twists, which now account for 97.5% of all continental savoury sales in multiple retail. The Bakehouse Let’s Do Lunch survey reveals that there is still plenty more opportunity for retailers and particularly those from the independent trade, to make more of the category, particularly in the present economic climate when consumers are looking for a satisfying lunch option.”

Bakehouse has added new flavours to its Cheese Twists: Cheese amp; Wild Garlic, Cheese amp; Chutney and Bacon amp; Cheese.

Raison adds: “As a result of this success Bakehouse has developed these additional flavours that are very much ‘on trend’ with consumer taste preferences – garlic, chutney, cheese and bacon. The products are quick to bake off, easy to merchandise and can be served hot or cold for a number of eating occasions, making them an attractive and profitable must stock line.”

Anthony Wilkinson, marketing manager of Mattesson’s, says: “The Fridge Raiders brand has not only experienced phenomenal growth of 52% in the past year, but also contributed to the growth of over 10% in the meat snacks sector as a whole. The brand now attracts over 2.6 million households via both grocery and impulse channels.

“We need Fridge Raiders to be available to consumers wherever they are and whenever they need a snack.

“The wholesale sector provides a vital route to independent retailers, which enables brand visibility in this key channel. We have dedicated resource working in the impulse channel to maximise our presence and sales.”

According to United Biscuits UK, the bagged snacks market is currently worth £2.2bn and is growing at 7% ahead of the total snacking market, and represents a significant profit opportunity for wholesalers.

Nick Stuart, commercial manager at United Biscuits UK, says: “The adult premium segment continues to be the star performer within the bagged snacks category. Growing at 9%, the segment is now worth £510m. This growth is partially due to the growing premium trend, as consumers continue to demand more exotic tastes and flavours. This segment now commands a 23% share of the entire bagged snacks category, so wholesalers should stock the latest lines to offer their retail customers products that have the potential to generate significant sales and profits.

“The wholesale channel is an area of great importance at UBUK, as it is one of the primary means to reach symbol group members, independent retailers, publicans and caterers looking for snacking products that will generate incremental sales. With the total impulse bagged snacks market valued at £414m, it is critical that we listen and respond to the needs of wholesalers to ensure we provide the right products in the right formats for their customers.”

Kellogg’s has recently moved its focus from the multiples to a multi-channel approach, adding 40 field sales staff for the independent channel and they will be linking through the cash and carry and delivered wholesale to the retailers.

Mike Taylor, sales director of Kellogg’s, says: “Nutri-Grain is Kellogg’s biggest snack brand and Soft Bake value represents over 50% of the Nutri-Grain brand and is worth £26m. It’s a huge product for us so we decided it was time to freshen up the look and taste of Soft Bake for consumers looking for a tasty solution to morning hunger

“In the impulse channels there is a real opportunity for retailers to drive sales of Nutri-Grain with adults on their way to or at work who have missed their breakfast.”

Nutri-Grain Soft Bake bars now contain more fruit fillings and from October there will be a specific event designed to drive sales for single packs in impulse channels.

General Mills is supporting its Natural Valley range with £4m marketing campaign aimed at raising brand awareness and driving trial and purchase.

Andy Foweather, sales director of General Mills, says: “The most common thing we find with Nature Valley is that once people try it they always come back for more. This is borne out by the excellent repeat rates of 45.1% exhibited by the brand. Nature Valley provides consumers with the perfect snack on the go solution: it tastes good and it’s convenient. Couple this with the high levels of consumer awareness generated by the heavyweight marketing support, and you’re onto a natural winner.”

Lucy Overton, category manager of Ryvita, says: “The savoury biscuits market is currently worth £329m and is growing at 6.37% year on year. Ryvita has a 12.73% share of the total savoury biscuits market and is currently the second largest brand in the category.

“As the Ryvita product range grows, so does the brand’s ability to create impact in-store and therefore encourage new users into the healthier snacking category. Our aim is to provide a tasty, healthier solution for any snacking occasion, as well as to encourage trade-up for other healthier snacking products.”

Ryvita instigated an image makeover at the start of 2009 with a new look designed to offer a unified brand look. This aims to engage with consumers and encourage recall across each of the categories.

Andrew Slamin, marketing director of Kettle Chips, says: “Year on year the total crisps and snacks market is showing reasonable value growth of 8.4%. The premium sector however is growing at a stronger rate with this being driven by the Kettle brand.

“Developing our position within the wholesale and cash and carry channel has helped drive growth with independents – 10.6% year on year. Both impulse and sharing formats are experiencing good growth. The launch of Kettle Chips 40g has driven trial and repeat purchase has followed – 15.7% in independents year on year. Kettle Chips has focused on working with wholesalers to develop the premium crisps and snacks fixture – both in depot and on fixture. For wholesalers to maximise on the hand cooked opportunity we recommend they stock a core range of the most popular flavours of Kettle Chips, Lightly Salted, Sea Salt amp; Balsamic Vinegar, Mature Cheddar amp; Red Onion and Sea Salt with Crushed Black Peppercorns.”

Kettle has introduced a limited edition flavour for the Christmas season. Red Onion Chutney is designed for festive parties and is packaged in a deep red and cream bag to aid standout on shelf.

PepsiCo has been running high profile promotions recently with the Walkers Do Us A Flavour seeing Builders Breakfast become the winner. The Walkers brand also had Gary’s Great Trips as an on-pack promotion and the Doritos brand offered the chance to win a trip to Vegas as well as its recent mystery flavour.

In February this year PepsiCo launched Red Sky, as a premium sharing brand. Kirk Tanner, VP impulse UK amp; Ireland for Walkers, says: “Sharing formats offer impulse retailers the biggest opportunity for incremental sales.

“The investment we are putting behind the brand is a further statement of our commitment to sharing and to the opportunity it presents to the impulse channel.”

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