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Crisps losing out to other snacks – Mintel

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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.

 

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