Source: Getty

Publishing: 18 April

Copy deadline: 7 April

Submissions deadline: 31 March

Download the synopsis here

Feature one: Is the crisp aisle overcrowded? by Rob Brown and Natalie Brown

They say too many cooks spoil the broth. The same could be said of crisps. Because while manufacturers have been busy bringing out new flavours and variants – spanning everything from Mexican-inspired tortillas to Indian-spiced poppadoms – there is concern that they are neglecting their core portfolios. So are brands missing a trick by constantly seeking the next big thing? Should they pay more attention to their standard lines? Or are these innovations crucial to overcome consumer fatigue with the more traditional crisp?

Key themes:

Flavours: How popular are more traditional flavours such as cheese & onion, salt & vinegar and ready salted? Are they still growing? To what extent are more innovative flavours needed to drive growth in the category – or are they just a distraction?

Formats: Sharing bags have continued on their upwards trajectory with a 2.5% sales uplift. At the same time, single bags – which are used for many core lines – have taken a downturn. To what extent could larger formats be an avenue for growth of core lines?

Brands: How are brands performing in their core lines and innovations? What is their strategy going forward? Are they planning to pump more investment into innovation, or boost their core ranges?

Own label: Own label has grown ahead of brands in crisps with a 7.7% increase in value. To what extent is this by keeping things simple? Or are they dialling up innovation? And is this battle with own label a factor behind the constant search for new and different propositions among brands?

Promotions: Sales on promotion have increased 2.8% over the past year. To what extent is this devaluing standard crisps?


Kantar data: Using Kantar data, explain the reasons behind the rise and fall of the crisps, nuts and bagged snacks sub-categories.

Nielsen data: Using Nielsen commentary, explain the rise and fall of the top 10 crisps brands

Shopper Intelligence: Using commentary from Insight Traction, explain how consumers shop the crisps, nuts and bagged snack aisles

4 x innovations: Identify four new crisps, nuts or bagged snacks product ranges that have ideally not appeared in The Grocer before. Please supply 100 words on each, including launch date and RSP, and source a hi-res picture of each.

Feature two: Finding a crisp alternative by Daniel Selwood (

Potatoes are a tough market. Blighted by two years of poor weather, commodity prices are rising significantly – which is, in turn, driving up crisp prices. But fear not. There are plenty of alternatives to the potato crisp that are ready to stand in its place. Sales of savoury snacks are up 6.3%, equating to a gain of over £100m. So what is driving that growth? What are the most popular formats? And what benefits are they offering over the standard potato crisp?

Key themes:

Potato prices: How are problems with the potato crop impacting on prices in the crisp aisles? And is that driving consumers away from potato-based options?

Nuts: It’s been another year of strong growth for nuts, which have delivered a 5.4% increase in value sales. What is driving this growth? How much of this is down to innovation? And what role have health credentials played?

Other savoury snacks: Savoury snacks are doing a storming trade. It’s an area of the market that is home to plenty of innovative and unusual NPD. Which innovations are proving particularly popular? Is there any type of snack that is really hitting the mark, and what needs does it meet?

Popcorn: This year has dealt another blow for popcorn, which is down 1.2% in value. Does this mean the popcorn boom is well and truly over? Or is there still growth to be had?


8 x innovations: Identify eight new savoury snack product ranges that have ideally not appeared in The Grocer before. Please supply 100 words on each, including launch date and RSP, and source a hi-res picture of each.