It’s crunch time

The crisps and snacks market benefitted largely from the pandemic with at home snacking at an all-time high over the past 18 months. Irish brands continue to dominate the category and brands are innovating with flavour extensions and lower calorie options. Fionnuala Carolan reports


Brand Central

24 June 2021 | 0

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                                                                                                                                      What a year for crisps and snacks. While people indulged at home with their favourite snacks treating themselves during an uncertain time, the brands didn’t stand still and were busy with new flavour extensions and new packaging designs. There is a host of new products on the market ready to launch this summer and with BBQ season in full flow, there will be plenty of occasions for consumers to try new flavours especially in the sharing bag range. Health is a big focus and brands with lower calorie options are gaining momentum. Everyone from Tayto to Walkers are extolling the virtues of baked crisps and reduced fat popcorn, while Hunky Dorys, O’Donnells and Pringles are all offering bold new flavours as both limited edition and line extensions.   

Bake off

Tayto Cheesatees has no added MSG, no artificial flavours, no artificial colours and is baked, not fried

It has been a busy six months for the nation’s favourite crisps and snacks brand*. Tayto kicked off the new year with NPD which included a reduced fat microwave popcorn and two new permanent crisp flavours to the portfolio. Identifying opportunities for their crisp range, Tayto launched a Sour Cream & Onion flavour to have an offering within the fourth largest flavour profile in the market. Tayto have also introduced Tayto Salted six pack multipacks to tap into the growing salted flavour segment. 

In March, Consumers were prompted to “Feed their Cheesiosity” with the exciting launch of Tayto Cheesatees. The big cheese flavour snack has no added MSG, no artificial flavours, no artificial colours, is baked not fried and certainly captured the market, gaining 1.5% value market share of the snacks category in its launch month**. The Tayto Cheesatees launch campaign was supported through TV sponsorship, national and regional radio campaigns as well as influencer advertising. Following the success of the launch and demand for the product, Tayto Cheesatees will be available in an impulse pack format in the coming months. 

Q2 commenced with the rebrand of Tayto’s hand-cooked crisp brand, Tayto Bistro, which now comes under the Tayto Occasions brand. Tayto Occasions displays new sleek packaging which delivers flavoursome taste cues for consumers looking for something a bit more indulgence. Tayto’s activity in the year to date has been underpinned with “always on” communication by TV advertising on RTE 2 to spotlight key products in the Tayto portfolio. 

Tayto Party Bags entered the market in June, just in time to capture key summer snacking occasions, such as the Euros. These 175g pack formats are sure to drive sales in the share bag market which continues to experience double digit growth*.

Tayto’s momentum is set to continue with more NPD, limited editions, and advertising support planned for the second half of 2021. Retailers should stock up Ireland’s number one crisps and snacks brand* to ensure they are positioned to benefit from their campaigns. 

*(Source: Nielsen Scantrack C&S Value MS MAT April 2021)

**(Source: Nielsen Scantrack Snacks Value MS 4 w/e 28.03.21)

Deliver a crunch punch

Hunky Dorys has added two new big bold flavours, Chip Shop Curry and Flame Grilled Steak

The nation’s favourite crinkle cut crisp brand*, Hunky Dorys, is now part of Ireland’s most popular crisps and snacks brand, Tayto. To kick off the year, Hunky Dorys added two new big bold flavours, Chip Shop Curry and Flame Grilled Steak. Available in both sharing and impulse pack formats, these tasty creations answered consumer calls for a crisp with full on flavour. Their launch now extends the Hunky Dorys range to six leading flavours. What’s more, H2 of 2021 has more innovative crisp flavours on the horizon for the Hunky Dorys brand.

In May, we saw the launch of a 360-degree integrated marketing campaign in which TV screens once again became host to the madness and humour of the Hunky Dorys brand. This ad introduced us to Christie “The Crinkler”- the man with the natural born talent to crinkle crisps. Supported with OOH, digital and across the trade with off fixture displays, this memorable and fun creative is set to have the nation laughing. Retailers will want to ensure they have Hunky Dorys well stocked to benefit from this large-scale brand campaign.

Hunky Dorys is set to deliver a crunch punch like no other in H2 with more NPD and more advertising. With a value share of 8.4% of the total crisps and snacks market*, the brand continues to set the pace in what is an action-packed year. Go Hunky Dorys or go home!

*(Source: Nielsen, Scantrack, Total Crisps and Snacks MAT April 2021)

Taste of home

O’Donnells has added a limited edition black pudding flavour crisp to its range

O’Donnells Hand Cooked Crisps is the leading hand cooked crisp brand in Ireland, currently holding 4.2% value market share*.  It is no surprise that Ireland has fallen in love with O’Donnells Crisps, due to the premium quality and great tasting flavours in the O’Donnells crisp range. O’Donnells range of flavours have won multiple awards over the years and earlier this year to customers delight, O’Donnells added another great flavour to their premium crisp range, a limited edition black pudding flavour. Ed and Kate O’Donnell, brother and sister duo behind the brand, were thrilled to bring this perfect pairing to the crisp fans of Ireland. “We couldn’t have thought of a more authentically Irish taste than black pudding and worked long and hard ensuring we captured the true taste of this delicacy in our premium crisps”. O’Donnells Black Pudding flavour was available for a limited time only, during which it received fantastic reviews and was a great hit with crisp connoisseurs all over Ireland.

This summer, O’Donnells Crisps are championing staycationing in Ireland, giving away 10 x €1,000 staycation vouchers. The competition ‘It’s a long, long way to Tipperary’ will be activated in-store throughout the trade, with eye-catching point of sale displays and also on the O’Donnells website and social media channels. Retailers will want to ensure they take advantage of this staycation opportunity and are fully stocked with O’Donnells during the summer period.

O’Donnells is all about using quality local Irish potatoes and working with local suppliers to create the finest hand-cooked crisps and there are lots of more exciting plans for O’Donnells which will be available in store in the coming months.

*(Source: Nielsen MAT Value Sales April 2021, Crisps & Snacks)

Make it pop!

Popchips have less than 75 kcal per 17g pack due to them being popped and not fried

Popchips are a different type of snack for a different type of snacker. They’re popped, not fried, big on flavour and big on crunch. Popchips celebrate a positive vibrant, and colourful approach to life, feeling good on the inside and awesome on the outside. Popchips are a tasty little light and crunchy number. You can revolutionise snack time with new look Popchips, perfect for summer snacking. 

Popchips have less than 75 kcal per 17g pack making them half the fat of fried crisps due to them being popped and not fried. They are also gluten free, suitable for vegetarians and have nothing artificial added. Popchips are available in bag sizes; impulse (23g) and multipack (5x17g) formats and in two flavours; sour cream and onion and barbeque. Popchips will be supported with an extensive media campaign including: press, radio, digital, social, influencer collaborations and in-store during the summer months to drive awareness of the brand and trial. Grab a bag and live life to the full because life is what you make it. So why not make it pop?

Step up the spice 

Pringles has launched Sizzl’N, the brand’s first full spicy range containing three flavours with varying levels of heat intensity

 January saw the launch of Pringles Sizzl’N, the brand’s first full spicy range containing three flavours with varying levels of heat intensity. Consumers across the country have been ‘stepping up the spice’, making Sizzl’N the biggest large-sharing brand NPD launch of 2021**. With each building in spice, the new flavours include Kickin’ Sour Cream (medium), Spicy BBQ (hot) and Cheese & Chilli (extra hot), aiming to satisfy all foodies who want to push their taste buds to the limit. 

Impactful Sizzl’N in-store presence will continue, driving visibility and awareness at aisle with a mix of proximity-to-store media, in-store media and POS. Pringles has also turned the floor to lava through an exciting and engaging Snapchat filter targeting the brand’s key demographic with some unexpected fun. 

Pringles continues to be the nation’s favourite large-sharing crisp brand, with Irish consumers consuming more Pringles than any other brand in large-sharing*. Summer 2021 will see Pringles continue to deliver relevant and exciting campaigns to drive sales in the market through on-pack promotions and seasonal initiatives. The brand will also celebrate the summer of football with impactful and eye-catching assets and POS along with the launch of football favourite, Pringles Pulled Pork Burger flavour. 

*(Source: Nielsen Total Scantrack, Latest 52 weeks – 25th April 2021)

**(Source: Nielsen Total Scantrack L12W 25th April 2021.)

The pub crisp

In 2020 alone, Manhattan donated 7.8 tonnes of food to FoodCloud

Manhattan Crisps are steadily becoming a household favourite with the most popular flavour, Cheese and Onion, being referred to as “the black bag of crisps”. A prominent feature in many shops and pubs throughout Ireland, Manhattan Crisps come in a variety of flavours suitable for a variety of people. With the growth of the product and increase demands, Manhattan Crisps are being stocked in more and more shops around Ireland. With Manhattan Crisps, you can choose from cheese and onion, salt and vinegar and smoky bacon. Manhattan Crisps are made from the finest and freshest whole potatoes all wrapped up for the perfect crunch. Each crisp flavour is simple and true with no complicated recipes or added ingredients – just rich in flavour and intensity.

All three flavours are suitable for vegetarians while Manhattan’s Smoky Bacon Crisps are also suitable for vegans. All flavours can also be found in a 35g bag while Manhattan’s Cheese and Onion and Salt and Vinegar can also be found in 150g share bags.

Throughout the pandemic, everyone has had to adapt. That is why Manhattan firmly believes in working alongside FoodCloud to make sure no food goes to waste while also being put back into the community. In 2020 alone, Manhattan donated 7.8 tonnes of food to FoodCloud. This means that Manhattan donated 18,571 meals last year while also offsetting 25 tonnes of CO₂.

It was also very evident to Manhattan that, because of the pandemic, pubs throughout Ireland have struggled for over a year. In a small bid to highlight this sector, Manhattan started their online series called ‘Manhattan Pub Series’. Each week, Manhattan highlights an Irish pub along with some facts and details across all their social platforms which has proven to be a hit amongst their followers.

A Giant year

The Walkers Giants range is one of Walkers’ most successful launches in years

What a year for Walkers, growing twice the category growth rate, with +19% RSV growth. NPD was at the heart of this growth, bringing an incremental €1.3m to the category last year, as consumers looked to trusted brands to bring some excitement rooted in the at home family sharing occasion. Walkers Giants, one of Walkers’ most successful launches in years, is in rapid growth, with double the rate of sale of its nearest competitor, offering a fun family sharing snack and real value to the consumer. Walkers Max Double Crunch, the extra crunch ridge crisp, perfect for consumers looking for a filling and tasty snack, recently supported with a full through the line investment with its “When noise annoys” Irish exclusive ad campaign. 

Walkers Max Double Crunch was supported with a full through the line investment with its “When noise annoys” Irish exclusive ad campaign

As consumers continue to look for healthier snacking options, Walkers Oven Baked range continues to be  number one within this segment, with 50% less fat than regular crisps and  growing two times more than the healthier snack category average at +41% YTD*. The latest prawn cocktail flavour has been a total hit, and is now the number two best-selling flavour within the range. Walkers continues to offer permissible family snacks, with no artificial colours or flavours and offers a range of multipacks in 100 calorie portions or less across our Wotsits, Quavers and Monster lunch range.

And the Walkers crisps range has had a makeover, a new cleaner and more modern pack design to drive greater ease and stand out at shelf and continues to offer real value to consumers with its 50% extra free range. Walkers, bringing excitement and driving category growth with its breath of range to suit all consumers snacking needs.

*(Source: AC Nielsen Scantrack April 2021)

Authentic Mexican tortillas

Blanco Niño has now launched its two new flavour tortilla chips, Ancient Grain and Chilli & Lime. Blanco Niño tortilla chips can now be found in over 350 stores including Dunnes, SuperValu, Fresh, Butlers Pantry, Donnybrook Fair and a host of independently-owned businesses. With summer coming hitting parks for picnics and inviting friends over for dinner, Blanco Niño tortilla chips are the perfect snack to feature in picnic hampers or on a dinner party table.

Since launching in 2016, the business has sold over 60 million corn tortillas across 16 European countries, working with some of the best Mexican restaurants and chefs. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on what was purely a food service business, but this move into retail last summer with their lightly salted tortilla chips made sense both for the business and offers consumers the chance to eat restaurant-quality food at home.

Although value and volume in CSN is in growth, there is simultaneously a growing gap between current retail offerings and consumer expectations. The innovation that has driven growth in the foodservice sector has not yet been reflected in the retail environment. Blanco Niño being one of the leading manufacturers of premium corn tortillas in Europe, has played a part in enabling the authentic Mexican movement in the foodservice sector.

Market trends, like the pull from consumers for authenticity, sharing and free-from mean that the Blanco Niño product proposition is perfectly placed to fulfil the distinct gap for a premium tortilla chip brand. Blanco Niño brings an authentic tortilla chip offering to retail positioned as ‘best’ in a ‘good, better, best’ category segmentation. This will complete the category, and increase revenue and profitability by attracting new customers into the space, whilst also driving existing shoppers to a higher value proposition.




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