Potato crisps are losing out to popcorn as consumers seek healthier bagged snacks, according to Mintel research.
Sales of potato crisps have been declining over the past two years, from a 2013 high of £1.39bn to £1.34bn in 2015. Over the five-year period f From 2010 to 2015, sales rose by just 8%, while other bagged snacks, such as tortilla chips and popped chips, hit £1.39bn (up 25%).
Health concerns among shoppers have contributed to potato crisps’ slide, but lack of innovation in the sector could also be a factor, said Mintel. Only 12% of bagged snack product launches in 2015 were potato-based, having been at 20% five years earlier. Meanwhile, i Innovation in popcorn more than doubled over the same period – from 3% to 7% of launches – and the product saw sales rise by an incredible 169%. There is scope for more NPD: nearly half (49%) of consumers said they’d be interested in trying new popcorn variants – and almost one in four (24%) claimed popcorn was healthy even when flavoured, for example, with caramel.
Shoppers also showed interest in other, healthier alternatives to potato crisps, with nearly half (45%) expressing interest in superfood vegetable crisps, Mintel found.
“Popcorn is the star growth performer in the crisps, savoury snacks and nut market, more than doubling in size from 2010 to 2015,” said Amy Price, senior food and drink analyst.
“Popcorn’s health credentials and flavour innovations have helped boost the segment, along with its popularity among younger consumers, who are more likely to snack”.
She added: “The crisps market is experiencing deflation, with manufacturers and retailers turning to discounting to drive volumes as part of the supermarket price wars, and the category is losing out to healthier alternatives.”