The company's owner Longulf is buying the Golden Wonder name and all of GW's brands except Wotsits, which is expected to go to Walkers. The deal awaits the Office of Fair Trading's approval and, if successful, the Snack Factory is expected to take on the GW name. Its portfolio will then include GW's Nik Naks, Wheat Crunchies, Golden Lights and Bugles and there will be the four remaining Snackhouse brands it bought last year after the collapse of the company, and the nine brands it has launched over the past 18 months. SF national accounts controller David McDiarmid says the company's aim in the past two years has been to establish a strong foothold in the branded arena because of the huge downward pressures on own label. "Own label has suffered significantly in the last few years because of the dominance and strength of brands, particularly Walkers which has put massive support behind its portfolio. At the same time, retailers have pushed down own label prices by re-tendering contracts annually in a market that has excess capacity. The combined effect has seen own label crisp volumes fall 9% in 2000, 4% in 2001 followed by a further 9% in the first quarter this year. Snacks have also dropped, but to a lesser extent. "Own label is an important part of our business ­ we have 23% of the market for crisps and snacks, supplying all major multiples - and while we intend to maintain and improve this business, our emphasis is on developing a branded portfolio." With stiff competition in the branded arena, SF's policy on its brands is to offer significantly higher margins to retailers than competing brands. O'Malleys, a former Snackhouse brand, has been relaunched in cash & carries at £5.99 for a standard case of 48 x 30g packs. "This compares favourably with Walkers at around £7.59 a case. We've distributed 12,500 sample packs and received a good response from the impulse trade," says McDiarmid. The company is also addressing the space shortage in most impulse outlets by introducing Snappers, a new brand of four varieties in a smaller, 30-pack case. "At £3.99, the Snappers range delivers £1.50 a case more than competing brands. And being space efficient, it enables impulse retailers to stock a wider selection," he says. One SF success story is Thank Goodness Organic, introduced 18 months ago, which the BBC Good Food magazine said was the best organic crisp'. McDiarmid says it has 190% sales growth and is rapidly gaining listings in the multiples. Available in a multi-pack of six, it comes in two flavours with a third planned. McDiarmid is also excited about XL cheese crisps, another former Snackhouse product, which is the bestselling regional crisp in Cumbria.There are plans to take it into other regions in the north and Scotland and add flavours. The company also appears to be scoring a hit with ethnic snack range Takeaway in Chinese Crackers, Tortilla Horns and Naan Grills variants aimed at a youthful sharing market. Listings include Morrisons and Asda, says McDiarmid. SF is also planning a debut for Red Rock, a ridged potato crisp in three spicy flavours. It comes with an introductory retailer offer of a £50 travel voucher redeemable for barcoding from 10 cases. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}