Although the premium sector of crisps, nuts and bagged snacks does not in general form part of the better-for-you snacking repertoire, it has benefited from the nation's hunger for healthier products in that many consumers are now of the opinion that if they are going to be naughty, they may as well go all the way.
The premium end of the market has also benefited from growth of products such as thick-cut crisps that absorb less fat than standard crisps.
Sales of premium offerings have also been fuelled by the rise of sharing occasions and more people snacking at home, according to Golden Wonder. The increase is particularly evident in the multiple retail sector, where premium crisps and snacks now account for 20% of the total market [TNS 52 w/e March 2, 2005].
At the other end of the scale, indulgence is also benefiting from putting products into impulse snack sizes, which give consumers the opportunity to buy a premium product as a snack.
Golden Wonder stepped up its fight against Walkers last
summer by bringing out its own range of premium crisps - Golden Skins, a range of thick-cut crisps with the peel on. The company claims the brand achieved £1m worth of sales within 12 weeks of launch.
“There are a lot of similar brands in the premium category, but much of Golden Skins’ success can be attributed to its characteristics and flavour range,” says category marketing controller Jon Anstey.
PepsiCo took on McCoy’s with the launch of Nobby’s, a range of crisps, nuts and coated nuts, while Jonathan Crisp was relaunched under a Crisps for Snobs strapline with new flavours and revamped packaging.
United Biscuits, which claims adult premium sharing has shown double-digit growth and accounts for 21% of bagged snacks category sales, introduced McCoy’s Specials, premium ridge-cut crisps made from specially selected potatoes with premium flavours to “meet the gap in the market for a premium snack with a male bias”.
Tyrrells Potato Chip Company says there is more to come from the premium market. “It will continue to grow as people trade up,” says owner William Chase.