CHRISTMAS could provide the ideal opportunity to increase sales of premium snacks in pubs, according to some of the UK’s snack brands.
Premium crisps brand Kettle Chips reckons there is a trend towards snack products without artificial ingredients, with consumers even more likely to trade up over the festive season.
The company is also backing premium crisps as a popular snack to accompany beer, and advised stocking up on single serve packs as well as larger formats, which can be served in bowls for customers to share or used as a garnish.
But choosing the right snacks can be an area where even top-end bars let themselves down, according to another premium crisps manufacturer, Pipers.
Managing director Alex Albone said operators should always ensure their snack range matches the quality of their overall food and drink offering – and that means premium brands should find a natural home in Scotland’s style bars and bistros.
And, as with the drinks or food menu, Albone said licensees should aim to offer something different to what consumers find when they do the weekly shop.
“Perhaps the most important aspect to selling snacks is to offer a point of difference – don’t offer something that is available in every supermarket,” said Albone. “Pipers prides itself on not selling to supermarkets for this very reason – so that operators can be certain that they have a genuine and unique selling point.”
And yet mainstream brands remain a must-stock for publicans, argues Pepsico, the company behind the Walkers brand.
The company’s sales director for out of home, Ayman Nasreldin, said pubs should also ensure they stock up on the best-selling crisps flavours of ready salted, salt and vinegar, cheese and onion and prawn cocktail.
Nasreldin also said it’s vital licensees make the most of secondary displays in their outlets, as a large percentage of crisps and snacks purchases are unplanned.
Pepsico recently invested in new menu clip strips that can be placed behind the bar to increase visibility.
“We hope this investment and our dedicated sales force will help publicans unlock the full sales potential of their crisps, snacks and nuts offering,” said Nasreldin.
Bagged snacks are not the only option open to publicans, of course.
Jonathan Ashmore, commercial director of The Big Kitchen, a company that provides a range of pre-cooked savoury snacks to the trade, said operators should “think big” when planning their snack ranges.
“We’d recommend publicans choose a selection of ‘social’ dishes that can be shared within a group,” said Ashmore. “A good mix of firm favourites and more adventurous options inspired by world cuisine will bring something different to the table and could demand a premium price.”