Crisp and clear!
With Irish consumers on average snacking 2.55 times each day according to Bord Bia research, it’s vital to have an appetising selection on display that whets their appetite. With this mind, Gillian Hamill highlights the bestsellers and healthy new innovations that are achieving noteworthy growth
22 June 2017 | 0
Crisp and snack sales are a major part of the grocery retail industry, whether it comes as an impulse buy or part of a bigger weekly shop. In recent decades, research has shown that snacking has become central to consumer eating habits. Statistics from the US Dept. of Agriculture show that in 1978, 41% of US consumers never snacked, while today 56% are snacking three or more times a day. Closer to home, Bord Bia reports that in Ireland we are snacking at a rate of 2.55 times per day*.
Whether for nourishment or indulgence, consumers opt for snacks more than ever today, with the category’s growth being driven by healthier snacks and product innovation. On top of this, brand loyalty is another element retailers and producers always have one eye on. Below, we examine the new innovations and products in the crisps and snacks market, as well as the existing iconic brands that are a cornerstone of the market.
*(Source: Bord Bia – Snacking in Ireland, March 2014)
Number one choice!
Tayto remains Ireland’s number one crisps and snacks brand* with a portfolio of sub brands that meets different consumer need states.
Tayto holds 32%* share of the crisp market with Ireland’s original crisp offering and also the more recent Tayto Bistro which offers consumers a premium indulgent gluten free crisp from a well-known iconic brand.
Tayto Treble crunch which offers consumers a permissible treat with only 99 calories per bag has seen growth of 30%* in the latest MAT as consumers are becoming increasingly health conscious.
The Tayto Snacks range which includes family favourites such as Snax, Waffles and Mighty Munch has seen a good response to its new bigger value bag snacks range and Tayto Occasions have just had a makeover with new premium packaging hitting shelves now. In fact, the brand is confident Tayto Occasions are a must-have to liven up any party.
Tayto currently has an on-pack promotion on its impulse 37g Cheese & Onion offering consumers a chance to win up €50,000 worth of Tayto Park tickets. The on-pack promotion is out now and runs till mid-June and follows on from the hugely successful ‘It’s not lunchtime…It’s Tayto time’ campaign.
Finally, the brand is spreading the word to ‘watch out for summer as Mr. Tayto will be hitting the beach!’
*(Source: Nielsen Marketrack Value Sales MAT M/A 17)
Everything’s Hunky Dory!
Hunky Dorys, Ireland’s number one crinkle crisp brand, continues to grow year-on-year with 19.6% value share and 17.3% volume share of the crisp market (Source: Nielsen Markettrack, Value & Volume MAT M/A 2017). According to owner Largo Foods, Hunky Dorys is a truly satisfying chunky alternative to a standard crisp.
The sharing pack trend continues to grow and Hunky Dorys offers four tasty core flavours: Cheese & Onion, Salt & Vinegar, Buffalo and Sour Cream & Onion.
The brand has a strong (yet characteristically humorous!) message for consumers this summer, namely: “Why not try going Buffalo. Whether it’s a picnic in the park or a trip to Electric Picnic, try a bag of Buffalo Hunky Dorys and make the most of summer time! Buffalo, the most outdoorsy of all the Hunky Dorys. You obviously like things a bit wild west. You’re not afraid to tough it, to get your hands dirty. You laugh in the face of indoor plumbing. Ha! This is what it takes to get you satisfied. This summer, we are inviting you, to go Buffalo with us!”
King of the hill!
Every true crisp lover knows that King Crisps are to be savoured! King currently holds 8.5% value share and 8.8% volume share of the Irish crisp market. (Source: Nielsen Markettrack, Value, MAT M/A 2017). According to the brand, Irish consumers continue to love the simply superior taste of King.
King of the hill, top of the heap, whatever way you want to say it, the meaning’s always the same: King is superior. For the second summer running, King has teamed up with GAA all-star Bernard Brogan for the launch of King’s latest brand campaign – King of the hill. Brogan’s involvement with King reinforces the brand’s strong Dublin connection. The campaign features outdoor, digital, social media, PR and an on-pack activation. King Crisps have long played a part of the weekly match day ritual; the jersey’s on, the sambos wrapped, King Crisps in the bag, the excitement of the game in the air. King Crisps are and always will be – King of the hill.
To celebrate the launch of this campaign, King is offering consumers a chance to win €1,000 every day for the month of June, for a club of their choice. Shoppers can grab a 37g bag of King from 1 June for details and enter via Facebook @KingCrispsIreland.
Nuts about nuts!
KP is Ireland’s largest nut brand and is the category leader with a value market share of 9.9% *. KP Nuts are picked after 130 days and are packed full of vitamins and nutrients.
Consumers are increasingly seeking out protein filled snacks that help provide a steady source of energy throughout the day. A couple of handfuls of KP nuts (25g) provides a consumer with 7g of protein which helps curb hunger until your next meal.
KP has a variety of packs for a number of different occasions. The 50g pack is perfect for when you want a nutritious snack on-the go while the 270g and 450g packs are ideal for when consumers have visitors over.
KP XL nuts are a unique coated nut and are available in three distinctive flavours: Flamegrilled Steak, Sweet chilli and Jalapeno Salsa.
Hula Hoops is Ireland’s largest take home snack brand with a market share of 8.1%. Hula Hoops Big Hoops sharing bag are available in two tantalizing flavours, BBQ Beef and Original.
*(Source: Nielsen Marketrack Value Sales MAT M/A 17)
O’Donnells, Ireland’s number one*, hand-cooked crisps are showing no signs of slowdown in the market, recently taking the title as the number four crisp brand in the market. The brand is showing double digit growth year-on-year even seven years after launch and is the market leader within the growing premium crisps segment.*
O’Donnells launched its multipacks late last year in their award winning flavours: Mature Irish Cheese & Red Onion and Irish Cider Vinegar & Sea Salt. Both multipacks have performed above expectations since launch and continue to add to their market share.
In March this year, O’Donnells launched an exciting collaboration between two household Irish brands. O’Donnells and Ballymaloe Foods worked tirelessly together to give crisp-lovers a truly tasty new flavour and a unique taste in a crisp. No wonder it won Gold at the Free From Food Awards in May! The brand states the new mouthwatering Ballymaloe Relish and cheddar cheese flavour has crisp lovers licking their lips and wanting more resulting in high demand for this exciting new flavour.
The new addition to the O’Donnells range is sure to add incremental sales and see the O’Donnells brand even further cement its market leading position in 2017.
The brand has an apt tagline: ‘O’Donnells crisps, Taste above all else!’
*(Source: Nielsen Value Sales M/A 2017)
Q & A with…Tom Keogh, MD, Keoghs
How is Keoghs currently performing in terms of sales relative to the overall crisp market?
We have been the fastest growing crisp brand on the Irish market for four years now, with annual growth averaging around 30%. This is in stark contrast to the overall category which has seen almost no growth in the same period. Our high quality products have been spot on trend as consumers seek premium options for treat and sharing occasions. We also led the gluten free crisp movement which has grown to be a major factor of consideration for consumers when choosing a snack product.
We are a relatively small brand, family-run and Irish-owned, so we are not competing on the same scale as the larger producers and distributors but we are going after a very different audience and that works for us. We have a 30% share of the premium sharing crisp market and we are the biggest premium crisp brand within multiple retail which is an incredible feat when you consider the size of our business and the fact that we sold our first bag only five years ago.
This rate of growth has seen us recently expand our factory and crisping house in North County Dublin and we’ve invested in some of the latest technology to season and package our crisps. However, we’re still using our 100-year old hand cooking techniques and trusted machinery and fryers. I have one named after my wife Eimear so that has to stay!
How important is it to continue to innovate in flavour?
I would say it’s vital! Market needs and consumer palettes evolve constantly so we need to innovate in line with this. In six years, we have brought eight crisp flavours to market and our newest flavour, Irish Chorizo and Cherry Tomato, is a perfect example. From listening to our customers and researching the market, we knew that there was an appetite for a new, more sophisticated flavour that could be enjoyed on its own or as an accompaniment to a dip or dish. We went through an arduous, 12-month R&D process, trying out all manner of flavour combinations before settling on the Chorizo flavour. We source the raw Chorizo ingredient from Fingal Ferguson at the Gubbeen Smokehouse in Co. Cork. Like all our other Irish flavour suppliers, Fingal was instrumental in developing and refining the final flavour we have today.
We were also the first company to use real shamrock as an ingredient in a food product when we launched our Shamrock and Sour Cream crisps ahead of St. Patrick’s Day in 2012. That flavour innovation was the first of its kind and gave us a massive point of differentiation on the market. To this day it is one of our best sellers year round!
NPD and flavour development is one of my favourite parts of the job and something that we are constantly working on. There is always some degree of flavour mixing and testing happening in our factory so before long we hope to have some new products and flavours to share with you!
What reaction have you received to the new Keogh so far?
The reaction has been incredible! We are overwhelmed by all the well-wishes from customers, suppliers, media, retailers and other Irish food brands and producers who we really respect and look up to.
The re-brand is very personal to us as the new designs feature elements relative to our family and childhood. Home is where the heart is for us and so we gave that a very literal meaning, replacing the heart shape that was on the front of all old packaging with elements of home and family which now sit front and centre on the new packaging.
We worked closely with Peter Donnelly, a local illustrator, to incorporate elements such as our dad’s sail boat, my own vintage tractor, the church ruin from our local village Ballyboughal, and the Skerries Windmill. The whole exercise forced us to think long and hard about the direction of our brand, how we tell our story and how we make Keogh’s stand out on the shop shelf. We don’t have massive marketing budgets so packaging plays a very important role and Peter has achieved this brilliantly, bringing all our ideas to life. We genuinely couldn’t be happier with or prouder of the results, now each design is a unique piece of art!
How has the brand’s ‘From crop to crisp’ ethos enabled Keoghs to stand out within the market?
In such a highly competitive market, brands need to have very clear, marketable USPs and for us, ‘Crop to Crisp’ is just that. It’s a phrase we coined a long-time back which reflects our brand heritage and the field-to-customer journey. Having that simple platform allows us to tell the story of our family farming the lands of North County Dublin for over 200 years and how, using that expertise and experience, we ourselves grow, harvest and hand-cook all the potatoes that inevitably become Keogh’s crisps. We cook our potatoes straight from the field when we can and this is definitely the best time to taste them – fresh from the fryer before even being seasoned!
Nowadays, food product consumers are increasingly seeking transparency on the source of origin, the ingredients and the quality of the foods that they consume. We are proud to say that we have always championed those values and our ‘SpudNav, is a perfect example. On the back of our packaging, you can see the name of the person who cooked the crisps, the field from which the potatoes were harvested and the variety of potato used to create that crisp. It’s a very popular feature and regularly have customers interact with us on social media, telling us to thank Chris who cooked the crisps or to comment on the quality of the variety of potato we use for the crisping.
We’ll soon be adding a more advanced ‘SpudNav’ feature to our new website, which is currently in redevelopment, and that will include detail on our ingredient suppliers too for even greater transparency.
How is Keoghs continuing to communicate the brand’s Irish and local credentials?
As is apparent from our rebrand, Ireland and our local area in North County Dublin is at the core of the Keogh’s brand. We are proud to be a family business and to share our successes with the local community and suppliers. We champion other Irish food producers and all our products are created using Irish ingredients, sourced from suppliers and family businesses that share similar brand values. As part of our newly designed packaging, we’ve had illustrator Peter Donnelly design a new Keogh’s provenance map which shows, for example, that our Atlantic Sea Salt comes from the O’Neills on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork and our vinegar suppliers are the Llewellyns who have an orchard in Lusk, Co. Dublin.
The places and faces of Ireland are hugely important to us so we make sure to reach out to our customers at trade shows and festivals throughout the year, such as Bloom, Taste and SpudFest, which is a celebration of all things potato-related which happens on National Potato Day each year.
A few years ago, we also started our Perfect Picnic campaign which is about to launch again for the summer months. The campaign encourages people to celebrate family and share special moments by filling up a picnic basket with their favourite foods, drinks and snacks and finding a space outdoors to enjoy some quality time with family and friends. Over the past two years we have surveyed more than 2,000 people in Ireland to find their perfect picnic spots around the country and their favourite foodie treats. You check out our Perfect Picnic tips by searching ‘Keogh’s Farm’ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Celebrating a new make-keoghver!
Keogh’s Farm, producer of Ireland’s favourite home-grown and hand-cooked crisps, is delighted to reveal that its much-loved crisp range has had a make-Keoghver! The new-look packaging, which will be on shelves nationwide from May 2017, puts home at the heart of the family business.
The Keogh family enlisted local illustrator Peter Donnelly to give their crisp packaging a fresh new design, whilst also paying a respectful homage to the many Irish suppliers, family members and iconic landmarks that have shaped the Keogh’s brand over the years.
While each crisp flavour remains as tasty as ever, the new packaging draws on unique elements to tell the Keogh’s Farm story, from crop to crisp. For example, Keogh’s Atlantic Sea Salt & Irish Cider Vinegar features the boat of Peter Keogh, family father, sailing towards the lighthouse at Skerries, Co. Dublin, where the vessel is currently moored. Peter and his sons spent many of their summer holidays sailing the Mermaid 132 around the Irish coastline, in years gone by.
The Keogh family has been farming the area’s rich fertile lands, renowned for producing Ireland’s finest potatoes, for over 200 years. For further information on Keogh’s Farm, visit www.keoghs.ie.
A good way to snack
Ampersand is delighted to announce that it has added another great Irish brand to its expanding snack food portfolio. Ampersand has partnered with the Good Snack Company and from 18 April 2017 commenced the distribution of the Good Snack range of healthy and nutritious snacks into the Irish convenience, forecourt and off-licence sector.
The Good Snack Company was set up 10 years ago by Matt Henchie and Stuart Allen because they got fed up with the lack of choice for consumers when it came to tasty, nutritious snacks. Matt and Stuart originally worked for Innocent Drinks and realised that one of the big selling points was its association with a healthy lifestyle and clean living. They also noticed that the Irish palate had become very broad and formerly exotic foodstuffs were now commonplace on our supermarket shelves. They felt that the existing healthy snacks were boring and had little appeal to the consumer in a hurry. Where were all the delicious, natural snacks consumers could enjoy without feeling guilty? They didn’t exist. So they set themselves a mission to find Good Snacks and bring them to hungry people everywhere.
Since then The Good Snack Company range of snacks has grown consistently since launch and is currently available and selling well through a range of retailer groups throughout Ireland. To take the brand to the next level, the Good Snack Company has partnered with Ampersand to increase its speed of growth and grow the brand and distribution on a national scale. Trading with all retail groups, Ampersand has established its position as a key player in the convenience sector by successfully building brands and providing an excellent level of service to over 3,000 direct FMCG customers.
Ampersand will launch initially with the Good Snack Company ‘Core Range’ of the bestselling 14 snack lines with a view to adding on additional lines such as the larger share packs and snack bars to complement the range in the coming months. The Core Range is a selection of handful snacks that includes a of nuts, dried fruit and tasty healthy snacks with a twist such as yogurt and chocolate covered raisins and nuts. Packed in 40 – 50g size bags they are perfect for portion control and are all priced very competitively with RSPs from €1.50.
Ampersand says the company is very excited about the partnership and working together with such a well-known and respected brand that is constantly evolving and bringing innovation to the growing healthy snack food category.
To support the launch Ampersand will be offering a fantastic introductory promotional deal with a free display stand. The floor display stand can take 16 cases and is highly striking in-store. Ampersand will be supporting the retailers with the filled promotional stand offer and the stand will be planogramed to offer the retailer the best return on margins with the key selection of best sellers. A counter top stand is also available for dual placement in-store at impulse spots and for the off-licence channel.
For more information, contact your Ampersand representative or the sales line through 01 4130150 or via www.ampersandsales.ie.
If you are looking to reinvigorate your snacks offering, Ampersand has two great options that could fit the bill and will satisfy the growing consumer trend for protein and meat snacks within the snack category.
Ampersand has been distributing Scratch My Pork onto the market since the company partnered with the No Nonsense Food Group last year. Scratch My Pork is a pork crackling made from 100% Irish pork rind, a new and unique savoury snack which had never before been produced for the Irish market. This delicious hand-cooked savoury snack is high in protein and is gluten free, dairy free, and MSG free.
Scratch My Pork was created by Kiwi chef Matt Brownie who set up home in West Cork in 2008 and brought with him a craving for something new. Using a combination of his skills as a chef and the best of Ireland’s produce, the story of Scratch My Pork began.
Scratch My Pork snacks provide Irish consumers with an alternative to crisps, bacon fries, and popcorn and are currently available in three distinct flavours, Salted, Smokey and Salt & Vinegar through retail outlets, pubs and off-licenses throughout Ireland via Ampersand. This summer the latest addition Salt & Vinegar will be available to consumers as Ampersand launches the new SKU into stores from May. The packaging is both colourful and vibrant and is similar to the existing two products within the range which instantly communicates the brand image and personality to consumers. The packaging is also foil-packed to lock in all the flavour and freshness.
Creator, chef Matt Brownie states: “We are very excited that the new flavour will create more happy customers. The Salt & Vinegar flavour is also gluten and dairy free and high in protein so we have kept the profile of our snack range open to most allergen and dietary snacking consumers.”
Scratch My Pork retails at €2 and is sold on clip strips of 12 by Ampersand to allow maximum awareness and sales potential in-store.
For more information, contact your Ampersand representative or call the sales-line directly on 01 4130150 or you can get in contact via the website at www.ampersandsales.ie.
Authentic taste of South Africa
Two years ago, Irish Biltong was developed by Noreen and John Doyle who applied the authentic South African method of preserving beef to their premium Irish beef produce and launched the brand onto the Irish snack market. The product was mainly sold online and through selected retailers with a big following from sports enthusiasts and professional rugby players for its high content of protein at 69%. The highest of any meat snack on the market.
In January 2017, The Irish Biltong Company partnered with Ampersand to take the brand further into its mainstream retail sector with a focus on the convenience and forecourt channel. Since then Ampersand has made the product available nationwide across the various retail groups.
The brand has also received great exposure from its recent publicity on RTE’s Dragon’s Den when Noreen presented Irish Biltong to the Dragons and refused to accept the offers of €100,000 from two of the Dragons, Gavin Duffy and Alison Cowzer to invest in her business. Irish Biltong has since gone on to win at the Bank of Ireland Start-Up Awards held on 18 May.
Irish Biltong comes in two tasty flavours, Original and Chilli. Retailing at €3 the gourmet snack is packaged in convenient, ambient, shelf-ready 25 gram packets, re-sealable food grade bags. Ampersand sells the product on hanging clip-strip format that can be multi-sited around the store.
For more information on meat snacks or if you would like to improve your snack offering, contact your Ampersand representative or call the sales-line directly on 01 4130150 or you can get in contact via the website at www.ampersandsales.ie.
Flourishing in a forest of goodness
Premium dried fruit, nut and seed brand Forest Feast, has tapped into the growing trend for protein rich foods by repositioning its well established on-the-go snack range with a clear call-to-action label highlighting nuts as a source of protein.
Explaining the rationale behind the reimagining with a new ‘Source of Protein’ call-to-action on pack, Ann Woods, product development manager at Forest Feast said: “Research has shown that protein is widely appreciated in a healthy eating context. We know that 30% of consumers look for protein rich foods when they are looking for healthier choices. However, making educated decisions about what you eat requires consumers having the knowledge to make informed choices. With the ‘Source of Protein’ range, we have taken the step to give consumers a clear and accurate on pack depiction of the protein contents of our popular on-the-go snacks offering our consumers a delicious, and convenient healthier snacking option.”
The new ‘Source of Protein’ on-the-go range from Forest Feast is supported with a PR and marketing strategy, including a multimedia plan with outdoor, print and Facebook advertising. Forest Feast also provides eye-catching POS and merchandising solutions to ensure the ‘Source of Protein’ message is clearly visible in-store and stands out among the category.
Forest Feast ‘Source of Protein’ snacks have a RRP of €1 and are available online and from leading retailers nationwide. For more information, visit www.forestfeast.com or find Forest Feast on Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter.
Original hand-cooked, gourmet potato chip
Kettle Chips are the original hand-cooked, gourmet potato chip. Every bag of Kettle Chips is hand-cooked, using the best potatoes to create a naturally crunchy and tasty chip.
The potatoes used are specially grown for their size and bold flavour giving the crisps their distinctive crunch and taste. The best of these potatoes are then thickly sliced directly into pure sunflower oil that enhances the flavour of the potatoes. The crisps are then carefully stirred by hand, a batch at a time, until they are cooked to golden perfection. Kettle Chips are seasoned with 100% natural ingredients – no preservatives, additives, artificial flavourings or colouring.
Kettle Chips are distributed by Stafford Lynch Ltd. and are available in 40g and 150g bags along with four Multipack bags.
The range of flavours includes – Lightly Salted, Sweet Chilli with Sour Cream, Balsamic Vinegar & Sea Salt, Sour Cream & Sweet Onion, Sea Salt with Crushed Black Peppercorns and Mature Cheddar & Red Onion. A Variety pack is also available in its Multipack range.
Kettle Chips are ideal for those who appreciate healthier, natural products but without sacrificing quality and taste.
Raising the (protein!) bar
Glanbia-owned Nutramino led the sports nutrition market in 2016 and continues to fuel the nation with the launch of its new mini sized protein bar. The new Nutramino range of mini bars includes four great-tasting bars with up to 15g of high quality protein, all wrapped up with a quality taste and texture.
The new bar is compact in size and perfect for a protein packed on-the-go snack, especially for those that want a great tasting bar, made with quality ingredients in a smaller size with flavours they know and love. The bars are available in four flavours; Sweet Coconut, Creamy Caramel, Dark Chocolate & Orange and Crispy Vanilla & Caramel. Each flavour is quite different to the next, offering variety for every taste bud preference.
Nutramino bars are perfect for those who want the muscle-building effect of protein after exercising, or just want a high-protein snack. The bars are the ultimate convenience products with a taste that rivals any classic chocolate bar, but with more protein and less sugar – so what’s not to love?
A breakthrough in savoury snacking
Squbes is a new range of bite-size savoury seed cubes, launched exclusively at IFE 2017. The innovative concept is a breakthrough in the healthy snacking category from the Natureseeker team at Virginia Health Food Ltd. Available in two varieties; Spiced Sesame & Almond and Sea Salt & Black Pepper, the seed cubes contain dozens of nutritious and tasty seeds in every bite and no refined sugar. Squbes are also made without wheat, are high in fibre and are a source of protein, magnesium and good fats for busy people. The product comes in 100g re-sealable packs (RRP £2.50) – for snacking with friends and family or for adding to salads or soups, and 30g sachets (RRP £0.90) – for convenient snacking on-the-go. Squbes are available to retailers across the UK and Ireland.
As the snacking market continues to expand, Squbes are a convenient solution for consumers wanting an affordable, natural, and healthy product that leaves no mess, unlike eating loose seeds. The Sea Salt & Black Pepper flavour features sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseed, chia and nigella seeds. The Spiced Sesame & Almonds variant offers a mixture of sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, linseed, chia, nigella seeds and almonds for an all-round wholesome and nutritious snack. Both varieties contain 167 calories per 30g packet, and are suitable for vegetarians.
Helen O Dowd, qualified nutritionist, food scientist and founding director for Virginia Health Foods, comments: “With the current trends for health and wellness, consumers are looking for alternative snacking options that meet their needs for a wholesome but delicious treat. As a result, the category is growing at 13% year-on-year, making this the perfect time for the new Squbes brand to launch and showcase at IFE 2017. The show is a great opportunity to network with customers and trade buyers and we look forward to gaining first-hand feedback on our new product. Squbes is a nutritious savoury concept packaged in handy resalable bags so we are confident this range will be a success for our retailers.”