Nairn's Pop Oats

Variants are Salt & Vinegar, BBQ and Sour Cream & Chive

Fast-growing free-from brand Nairn’s has unveiled Pop Oats – a bagged range the business claims is “the first-ever gluten-free popped oat snack”.

The result of a year’s development, Pop Oats is made from gluten-free wholegrain oats, which are popped in a “confidential” process that is “a combination of heat and pressure”.

It is available in three variants: Sour Cream & Chive and vegan-friendly duo Salt & Vinegar and BBQ (rsp: 80p/20g). Each 100g contains 415 calories and 8.5g of fat – “60% less fat per serving than the average packet of fried crisps” according to Nairn’s. By comparison, Walkers’ Salt & Vinegar crisps have 30.5g of fat per 100g.

Pop Oats is on shelf now in selected independent health stores, while “major retailers” are expected to stock the snack from March.

It marked “an exciting development for the brand and for the whole free-from category, which traditionally has had fewer savoury snack options than sweet” said Nairn’s. There are “very few oat-based crisp alternatives on the market”.

Pop Oats closely follows the launch of Nairn’s Oat Bar, a gluten-free flapjack-style snack bar in vegan-friendly variants Cacao & Orange, Mixed Seeds & Protein and Apple & Cinnamon (rsp: 75p/40g & £2.50 4x40g). It rolled out last month into Waitrose, with no more than 17g of sugar per 100g – “40% less sugar than the average fruit/cereal bar”.

The NPD comes with Nairn’s value up 11.7% in grocery’s free-from aisles to £25.3m [Nielsen 52 w/e 8 September 2018].

“Demand for free-from products has never been higher,” said the brand’s managing director Martyn Gray. Younger shoppers in particular were increasingly “looking for convenient and healthy snacking options to consume on the go, which don’t compromise on taste”.