Crisps losing out to other snacks – Mintel
Healthy lifestyles and the rise of the discounter appear to be chipping away at sales of crisps, according to new research from Mintel.
The study reveals that sales of potato-based and other snacks, such as tortilla chips and popped chips, grew to £1.39bn in 2015, overtaking sales of potato crisps (which declined to £1.34bn). Mintel found that sales of potato-based and other snacks have risen by 25% between 2010 and 2015, while sales of potato crisps rose by just 8% over the same time.
Despite falling sales, it seems Brits still have a hunger for snacks. 92% said they have eaten any crisp or crisp-style snack in the past three months, with 78% having eaten standard potato crisps, 48% have eaten other types of crisp-style snacks (such as cheese puffs), and 45% have eaten tortilla chips.
Furthermore, despite their notoriously unhealthy status, 82% Brits who eat crisps and crisp-style snacks say that eating crisps is fine as an occasional treat, with just 4% disagreeing. What’s more, 37% said that a sandwich isn’t the same without crisps on the side.
Alongside falling sales, Mintel research shows that there is a decline in potato-based snack product innovation. 20% of snacks launched in 2010 were potato snacks, but this fell to 12% in 2015; in contrast, 7% snack products launched in the UK in 2015 were of popcorn, up from just 3% in 2010.
As a result, sales of popcorn are popping, rising by 169% over the past five years to reach an estimated £129m in 2015. 35% of Brits have eaten popcorn in the three month period, rising to 49% of those aged 16-34. And it seems there is further scope for innovation, with 49% saying they’d be interested in trying new popcorn flavours, and 24% saying popcorn is healthy even if it’s flavoured.
Whilst it seems consumers’ ‘guilt-free’ snacking image of popcorn is having a positive effect on sales, there is further interest among consumers for healthier crisp products. 68% of those who eat crisps and crisp-style snacks say they would be interested in crisps made using healthier cooking oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil. And 45% said they would be interested in superfood vegetable crisps. On the other hand, 42% said they would rather cut down on the amount of crisps they eat as opposed to switching to a healthier version.