>>Plenty of new product development… savoury health snack market shows strongest performance…

Simon Mills - Buyer, Booker

New product development in the past year has been plentiful and, as in previous years, has been driven by PepsiCo. Range extensions have been the mainstay of NPD with extensions on Wotsits, Doritos and Sensations. Limited edition launches of Walkers crisps meant consumers always had something new to try. More recently, excitement has been generated by both PepsiCo and KP with the launch of Nobby’s and McCoy’s Specials.

While it is vital that retailers support heavy NPD as the snacks manufacturers do a great job in telling consumers about them, it is equally important that proven products are not removed as a result. Retailers should remember that around 80% of sales come from the top 20 SKUs.

Sensations, which is a huge impulse brand, has performed disappointingly with extensions in the form of crackers and poppadums.

John Taylor - Head of Buying, Impulse at Musgrave Budgens-Londis

Foodservice is developing fast in impulse and this is a key area for targeted growth in Londis. We’ve seen very little genuinely innovative NPD in the past year. Mars Delight, Walker’s and Nobby’s are the notable exceptions, while everything else has been brand extensions.

Generally, the confectionery and salty snack market has been very slack, while the healthy snack market is growing, with the savoury healthy market - with products such as Snack-a-Jacks - showing the strongest performance. Baked snacks are growing in both Budgens and Londis and we will be looking to develop the concept in both store groups. As ever, strong media support by the manufacturers and the brands will drive consumer demand, together with in-store promotion. Many products will benefit from dual siting - with single packs to the front of the store for the impulse shopper, and multipacks further within the category.