As the Covid-19 pandemic continues – albeit with eased restrictions – consumers are on the hunt for tasty yet nutritious snacks to share during movie nights at home. Euromonitor Ireland reports that premiumisation and provenance are becoming more prominent – two developments which can clearly be seen in the product news and innovations outlined below, writes Gillian Hamill
22 June 2020
During lockdown uncertainty, many shoppers can understandably often be found huddled in front of the TV these days. With Netflix fast becoming the new national pastime, it’s undeniable that snack foods are the perfect companion to any binge-watching session. Snacking has long been on the incline in Ireland – in 2018 the Bord Bia Insight Centre reported that 70% of consumers in Ireland snack daily.
Sales are booming across the category right now. Showing the extent of growth, Kantar reported in the UK that year-on-year crisp sales rose 21% in the past month. Nuts and popcorn sales saw 16% and 14% increases respectively. The share bag trend saw 6.2% growth in the four weeks to 21 March and 32.1% in that final week alone. Meanwhile during last summer, Kantar’s take-home grocery sales figures for the 12 weeks to 16 June 2019, showed that here in Ireland, sales of crisps increased by 2.5% and popcorn by 6.4%.
What’s more, shoppers are not just reaching for potato crisps, with Kantar reporting that alternative takes on the traditional varieties are performing well.
*(Source: Bord Bia Insight Centre. Healthy Snacking UK and Ireland: January 2018)
Tayto continues to be Ireland’s favourite crisps and snacks brand holding a leading market position with 25.2% value market share.*
2020 got off to a strong start for Tayto with the launch of two limited edition flavours. This year, Tayto’s limited edition flavours were all about ‘original Irish favourites’ – Bacon & Cabbage and Beef Stew. The in-store launch was supported with PR, influencer marketing and a national 30 second radio ad which all led to a very strong pick-up by shoppers who were intrigued to try these new flavours.
Tayto Muchos was the best-selling crisps and snacks NPD of 2019 and 2020 saw the brand back with a full above-the-line (ATL) campaign. For the month of March, its bespoke TV advert reached 57% of adults aged 18-34 while outdoor interrupted shoppers on their path to purchase. In stores, activations included HODs, in-store samplings, price point promotions and retailer exclusive competitions.
Tayto has also worked with the Feed the Heroes group to extend its thanks to some of the frontline HSE staff for their work throughout the Covid-19 outbreak. The Tayto field sales team added hospital drop offs to their already busy routes to distribute over 20,000 packets of Tayto Cheese & Onion to the teams at hospitals all over Ireland.
In upcoming news, the Tayto Bistro range which is Tayto’s gluten free, hand cooked crisp offering, will have a name change to Tayto Bistro Occasions. The name change will feature an updated design to the packaging and a new and improved Sweet Chilli flavour which is sure to get consumers’ taste buds tingling. The new Tayto Bistro Occasions design will be on shelves from the end of this month.
Post-summer, keep your eyes peeled for Tayto’s new campaigns which are sure to drive sales in the market.
*(Source: Nielsen MAT April 2020, Value Market Share, Crisps and Snacks)
Popped to perfection!
Naturally delicious and popped to perfection; Popchips recently launched in the Irish market. Popped not fried; Popchips offer a healthier alternative to a standard crisp.
They offer a number of advantages, including less than 100 kcals per pack and half the fat of fried crisps. Popchips are also gluten free, suitable for vegetarians, and contain no artificial anything.
The range comes in impulse (23g) and multipack (six x 17g) formats with two tasty flavours.
Firstly, Barbeque: Who needs backyard smoke and sizzle to enjoy a lip-smacking barbeque? Barbeque Popchips serve up the taste of tangy sauce and a hint of smoke on every chip, allowing consumers to savour the flavour, guilt free.
The Sour Cream & Onion flavour is another ideal combination. On their own, sour cream is tangy and onion is savoury and slightly sweet but together, they’re a power couple – a taste sensation of delicious togetherness!
Overall, Popchips’ delivers a straightforward yet memorable message to consumers: ‘Pick up a pack – pop it like it’s hot!’
Full on flavour
Hunky Dorys is the nation’s favourite crinkle cut crisp and Ireland’s second most popular crisp. The robust brand performance continues year-on-year with Hunky Dorys currently holding an 8% value share and 6.1% volume share of the total crisps and snacks market*.
According to the brand, Hunky Dorys is the ultimate ‘hunger buster’ with the most intense flavour and obscene crunch. Each savoury offering in the range offers consumers full on flavour in every bite. The range includes Cheese and Onion, Salt and Vinegar, Sour Cream and Onion and Buffalo, with each bag packed full of ‘full on flavour’.
Earlier this year, Hunky Dorys activated online and partnered with Balls Media to give consumers the chance to win three weekends of rugby (in Dublin, London and Edinburgh), redeemable in 2021. This campaign was activated on digital and social media with exceptional engagement rates. Also, during this period, Hunky Dorys partnered with multiple retailers giving away bespoke competition prizes via in-store activations.
*(Source: Nielsen, Scantrack, Total Crisps and Snacks MAT March 2020)
Leading hand cooked brand
O’Donnells Hand Cooked Crisps are the leading hand cooked crisp brand in Ireland*. Over the last ten years, Ireland has fallen in love with the taste of O’Donnells crisps which were founded in 2010, by Ed O’Donnell.
Since the 1700s, Ed’s family have farmed at Seskin Farm, Co. Tipperary. His passion for food and his desire to create an authentic premium crisp working with local Irish food suppliers, led to the development of O’Donnells premium hand cooked crisps. Today, the O’Donnells range consists of six tasty flavours, all of which are gluten free and each flavour has won many awards throughout the years for their great taste profile.
2020 is an exciting year for O’Donnells, as it celebrates its tenth anniversary as Ireland’s favourite hand cooked crisps.
To mark this historic milestone, the brand will be updated with a fresh new look during the summer. O’Donnells premium new packaging designs will be available in store in August.
As part of the ten-year celebrations, O’Donnells will launch two new promotional packs. These new promotional packs will be available in September for a limited period only and the brand is confident they’re sure to sell out quickly.
*(Source: Nielsen MAT Value Sales March 2020, Crisps and Snacks)
Guilt-free Californian living
Cali Cali Foods, a guilt-free snacking brand inspired by Californian street food flavours and healthy eating trends, has just launched its new guilt-free sharing bags. The Cali Cali Crisps range includes four flavours; Hot Sauce, Thai Sweet Chilli, Buffalo Chipotle and Tangy Cheese & Red Onion, all of which are gluten free, high in fibre, 15% protein and vegetarian. This unique style of crisps states eight nutritional claims in total and they are made using four real food ingredients – chickpeas, rice, peas and black beans.
The Cali Cali Foods team ultimately decided to bring forward the launch of its share size bags as impulse buying had dropped by 0.9% over the past 12 weeks due to current circumstances. “We are doing everything we can in the current situation to get ourselves out the other side of Covid-19,” says co-founder Tom Gannon.
The 84 gram share size bags are now listed across a multitude of channels such as Dunnes Stores, Spar and Eurospar with an RRP of €2.99. “The initial reaction of the product launch has been amazing and has left us feeling very hopeful for the future,” says co-founder Niall Mc Grath. In the coming summer months, the team hope to be rolling out the product across multiple Irish retailers such as SuperValu and Tesco stores nationwide.
To find out more, visit www.calicalifoods.com, Facebook: Cali Cali Foods, Instagram: calicalifoods.
Ideal movie night treat
Despite the uncertainty, since the lockdown came into effect, consumers have been indulging in more movie nights than ever before, resulting in a significant increase in appetite for the Joe & Seph Gourmet Popcorn range. The exciting flavour innovation offered by the brand in its range of over 50 flavours has been particularly appreciated by consumers, who are looking for exciting and premium treats to indulge in during these uncertain times.
What’s more, the standard Joe & Seph Gourmet Popcorn pouches come in a sharing format, which is where the largest growth has been recorded over recent months. Again, this helps Joe & Seph to position its Gourmet Popcorn brand as the perfect treat for movie nights in.
Stellar and sustainable performance
Walkers has had a stellar year-to-date with growth ahead of the category at 7% (Source: Nielsen Scantrack YTD April 2020). Core to the growth has been continued investment in its UEFA Champions League partnership which saw Walkers’ biggest brand activation online and in outlets in February and March.
The brand also brought back its 50% extra free offering across its single serve range in January and February which added to its positive performance. Walkers has big plans for the second half of the year as FMCG recovers especially in the convenience and impulse side of the category.
Walkers will introduce innovation in its ‘family snacks’ range which will bring exciting news to the fastest-growing sharing segment of the crisp category. (Source: Nielsen MAT April 2020). Core to Walkers’ plans is a focus on sustainability and the outer packaging for its multipacks will see a 30% reduction in plastic being used. This is initially phased into Walkers Cheese and Onion six-pack and 12-pack offerings.
Walkers’ UEFA champions league partnership will be amplified as more snacks than ever are being consumed at the at home occasion. Finally, within the ‘single serve’ segment, Walkers will bring back out its 50% extra free value offering and have tactical initiatives to support accounts at local level to drive footfall back into outlets and drive cash through tills.
Hotly successful launch
Doritos is Ireland’s number one tortilla snack with 9.9% snacks category growth (Source: Nielsen Scantrack MAT April 2020).
A key contributor to this has been the successful launch of Doritos Flaming Hot! A full through-the-line campaign including TV, digital and in-store visibility supported the launch back in March and initial results have been very positive.
There are significant plans for the second half of the year with three key campaigns to support the growth of the brand, targeting the big occasions of summer and Christmas. A key lever of these activations are on-pack promotions giving shoppers the chance to win at home with football prizes, and keep your eyes peeled for an exciting partnership with one of Christmas 2020’s most sought after gifts in Q4. Finally, the last campaign will be centred around the UEFA Champions league partnership dialling up the return of the 2020/2021 season and giving shoppers opportunities to win money-cannot-buy prizes.
Wild and wonderful
Ampersand is the leading supplier of meat snacks to the Irish market. In response to the growing consumer trend for protein and meats snacks within the snack category, Ampersand partnered with the Irish Biltong Company in 2017 to distribute its award-winning range of Irish beef gourmet snacks nationwide with a focus on the convenience and forecourt channel. More recently, Ampersand has extended its meat snack range with the addition of Wild West Jerky to its portfolio.
There are distinct differences between biltong and beef jerky. Beef jerky is made using beef silverside that is marinated, slowly cooked and smoked. It is then sliced and packed and sold as a tasty and nutritious snack. Beef biltong is also a high protein meat snack with origins from South Africa, but the main difference is that biltong is air-dried rather than cooked and smoked.
Wild West Jerky is made in the traditional American style with no artificial additives or flavour enhancers. Wild West is all about high-protein and gluten free snacking. It is also extremely low in calories with less than 70 calories per 25g bag, low in cholesterol and has only 3.5% fat content.
Available from Ampersand are three tasty Wild West Jerky flavours; Original, Honey BBQ and Jalapeño in a 25g bag offering with a retail selling price of €2.
If you are interested in stocking Irish Biltong or Wild West products, contact your local Ampersand representative or you can call the Ampersand sales line directly on 01-4130150.
Bean looking for a new plant-based snack?
It’s hard to find a snack that packs the punch of taste and satisfaction without the post-munch guilt but an exciting new Irish company seems to have cracked the formula with a range of plant-based snacks that aren’t just tasty and low in fat, but also nutritious and naturally made.
BlendiSnacks has honed in on the humble bean as the next snack sensation and its new range of flavoured broad bean snacks have gone from strength to strength with online sales quadrupling, and a deal secured to be the official player snack of Wimbledon 2020.
BlendiSnacks delivers roast broad beans and peas in a range of tasty flavours like Firey Garlic, Red Onion, Salted and Bar-B-Q. Founder Yvonne Dolan is excited for the future of the product on the back of the massive popularity it has seen in the last two months, with high volume sales to the UK and Scotland, wholesalers, inclusions in some subscription boxes, and online collaborations with other small food suppliers.
However, Dolan is eager to get back to retail and is seeking an opportunity for an exclusivity deal with one of the Irish forecourts. The beans will retail at €1.90 and BlendiSnacks has big plans for 2021 by growing its own beans here in Ireland. A unique offering: vegan snacks tasting like roasted nuts but with less calories and no allergens with an undeniably broad (bean) appeal for both adults and kids.
Down to earth deliciousness
The Clintons family farm in Skerries has been growing potatoes for seven generations. Clintons Crisps is run by two brothers, Martin and Sean. The brothers’ ethos is to keep things simple, but do it right, stating: “We’re about the down to earth, delicious crisp.”
Made with distinctive flavours and cooked in pure rapeseed oil, these crisps have the perfect taste that the Clintons Crisp is known for. All Clintons Crisps are gluten free, suitable for vegetarians and vegans. The brand’s main distributor is Stafford and Lynch, and it’s now stocked in selected SuperValu, BWG and Avoca stores.
For more information, visit www.clintonsartisancrisps.com, Facebook: facebook.com/clintonscrisps, and Instagram: @clintonscrisps.