Traditional styles and flavours are returning to pub snacks, say producers.
An increasing number of customers, it’s claimed, are prepared to pay more for a snack with provenance that has been produced using traditional skills and methods.
“Customers are looking for a high quality product which tastes great every time they consume it,” said Alex Albone of Pipers Crisps. “This is not just down to the way the crisps are made, but also down to the ingredients used and their provenance.
“All our flavours are sourced from businesses that create exceptional produce using traditional skills and methods.”
Albone said the popularity of traditional styles and flavours has arisen from more sophisticated food menus in pubs and bars, which has driven premiumisation in the snacks category.
He added: “Over the last few years greater taste sophistication among consumers has led licensed outlets to premiumise their food menus, enhance their flavours and improve provenance.
“The growth is happening across all UK regions, in all kinds of pub, whether managed, branded or independent.
“We’re not only satisfying the well-heeled, country/cask ale sector in London and the south east – it’s also about community and venue pubs in towns and cities across the UK, as well as food pubs.”
Ayman Nasreldin, director of out of home at PepsiCo, which distributes Walkers crisps, said snacks are “incredibly important to pubs” and encourage customers to stay longer.
“Snacks provide operators with the opportunity to drive incremental sales with the biggest growth opportunity being with families,” said Nasreldin.
“These parties are spending more time in pubs, meaning that larger format bagged snacks such as grab bags are key to unlocking growth.”
Nasreldin agreed premiumisation is a growth area, and said Walkers has responded to this with its Market Deli range of crisps, which includes Flame Grilled Spanish Chorizo with Roasted Onions, Cornish Mature Cheddar and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
Speed of preparation can be a factor when deciding which hot snacks to offer.
Phil O’Sullivan, general manager of foodservices at Big Al’s, which supplies a range of frozen snack foods to the trade, said: “Stocking tasty snacks which can be cooked quickly at any time of day is a great way to make the most of multiple occasions and boost profits.
“By offering simple meal solutions which deliver on taste and quality every time, at any time, licensees can generate incremental profits.”
But even an extensive snacks range will only sell if it can be properly seen by customers.
Nasreldin, at PepsiCo, said there are several steps operators can take to ensure their snacks ranges are more visible, including using point of sale materials such as clip strips and counter-top display units.
“Display is absolutely crucial,” said Nasreldin. “Combining a good display, whether that is clip strips or back of bar menu units, with the right range will help to meet consumer needs and maximise sales.”
• Make snacks more visible to help increase sales
• Encourage impulse purchases and trade-ups at the bar
• Consider a link deal or special offers such as multi-buys on quiz nights
• Stocking a core snack range is vital to reassure customers of quality and value
• Select the right range of crisps for your pub and don’t forget the nuts