Category feature: Salty Snacks

Early in 2018, Doritos expanded its snacking portfolio from chips and dips to include baked Doritos Crackers. At the time, Pedestrian TV reported the original Cheese Supreme Dorito corn chips are the number one selling flavour in Australia and thus the new Crackers would be sure to make waves within the market.

Doritos Brand Manager Alison Silver said: “Doritos Crackers are an exciting way to attract a new consumer base to the biscuit category in the form of millennials, who are the heartland of Doritos. The brand has a cult following with the young and hungry and we are thrilled to be able to deliver them with an exciting new way to enjoy iconic Doritos flavours”.

Snacking continues to be a popular and profitable option for customers in convenience stores who are looking for something on-the-go.

Facts and figures

John Owen, a Senior food and drink analyst wrote a report that was published by Mintel, stating that the top three snacks in the category segment were meat snacks, popcorn and cheese.

Mr Owen also noted that new flavours within the category were the key to continued growth as “the heaviest snackers look for new snacking experiences”.

According to the website Unique Health Products, Larina Robinson said more and more Australian’s are skipping lunch in favour of a snack.

Citing Neilson, Ms Robinson noted that 96% of Australians say they regularly consume snack food with 62% of consumers opting for chocolate as a sweet snack.

“Despite their love of chocolate (and fresh fruit), Australian consumers’ tend to prefer savoury snacks over sweet,” Ms Robinson said.

“In an average seven day period, 41% of Australians snack on potato chips, 37% snack on nuts, and 32% snack on savoury biscuits or crackers.”

The Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) 2017 State of the Industry Report (SOI) said the snackfoods category was worth $194 million in 2017 and had an actual growth of $4 million.

“The traditional three meal routine per day is being reduced and going towards frequent grazing/ snacking,” the report said.

“The snackfoods category has become a symbol of how the channel is providing a more balanced product mix to satisfy both customer needs of health and indulgence.

“Nevertheless, the $194 million category – consisting of chips, nuts, popcorn, nutritional bars, dried fruit, and pretzels – slowed in 2017.”

A trendy snack

The Grocery Corporation Pty Ltd brand marketing manager Sally Breden said: “There is a clear trend towards healthy and nutritious product that deliver on taste. Healthier on its own is not enough to sustain long term success for a product. Good taste is critical”.

There is an “increasing consumer adaptation of mainstream ‘better-for-you’ salty snacks including baked instead of fried, low sodium, low fat, gluten free and vegan,” Ms Breden said.

Ms Breden said there a lot new uses for snacks that utilise specific legumes, grains, superfoods and proteins as well as exotic and extreme tastes and flavours.

“We are seeing continued growth in the salty snack category across all markets including Australia, US, Middle East and Europe,” Ms Breden said.

“Consumers have moved away from the traditional three meals per day and shifted into a lifestyle involving increased snacking, or multiple smaller meals, throughout the day” she said.

“There are two main consumer snacking moods: sweet and savoury. Chocolate bars and ice-cream fulfil the sweet mood, and salty snacks the savoury mood.

“Salty snacks are the classical “grab-and-go” category within a convenience store, and should get prime location for impulse buying. Strong visibility, close to the entrance and to the counter, particularly with smaller packs will target the large number of consumers in this channel looking for something for immediate consumption, and will ensure they walk out of the store satisfied,” she said.

Expanding flavours

Something that has been popular over the last year, is the introduction of various specialty flavoured chips and snacks. Whether it be for a limited time of year and themed, i.e. Christmas themed or a new variation there were many new flavours brought into the market in 2018.

Smith’s released two new flavours just before summer, inspired by the season including French Onion and Tomato Salsa. Alison Silver, Smith’s Brand Manager explained “Our new summer flavours are the perfect snacking combination rolled into one, dips and chips, a perfect accompaniment for summer festivities.”

Following on the heels of its own trend, in December the brand partnered with Pizza Hut to launch three pizza-inspired flavours. The three flavours included BBQ Meatlovers, Margherita, and Garlic Bread.

Lynn Rutherford, Marketing Manager for Smith’s said: “We’re really excited about our innovative partnership with Pizza Hut. It made perfect sense for us to combine Smith’s chips with these classic Pizza Hut flavours – we think it’s a match made in heaven and we know Aussies will love them as much as we do”.

In January, the brand went one step further in its innovation by introducing a limited edition release of its Snag & Sauce flavoured chips.

Ms Silver said: “We are pleased to unveil our latest innovation; it is a classic Aussie flavour on a beloved Aussie chip, making it the perfect addition to a summer BBQ.”

In each instance, the iconic Smith’s crinkle cut chip was combined with flavours to create a new and unseen flavour.

Queensland brand, Picky Picky Peanuts was another company that took something iconic to Austrailan culture, and added it to its core product.

‘Mitey Aussie Nuts’ is a unique collaboration of Picky Picky Peanuts and Vegemite.

As the salty snack opportunity continues to expand and evolve, it seems the key to the market is innovation and a plethora of new flavours available for the consumer.




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