As the concept of staying in becomes as trendy as going out, demand has grown for evening snacks in shareable formats

Evening snacking has been a huge area of growth in recent years and, with staying in becoming more trendy than going out, this trend is set to continue with manufacturers developing more products suitable for at-home sharing.
Sales of single bags for sharing, a sector valued at £500m and representing 35% of the category, have grown 5% in value [TNS 52 w/e to February 27, 2005]. This has been driven by the plethora of brand launches in the past couple of years.
“The ‘big night in’ concept is growing and sharing is becoming hugely important in snacking, as it is in confectionery,” says Heidi Jackson, trading manager at Musgrave Budgens-Londis. “The trend is towards bigger packs and range extensions, for example Pringles Dippers, Doritos flavour extensions and Sensations lines such as Mini Poppadoms.”
She predicts the evening snacking sector will continue to flourish, with effective merchandising and innovations in product and pack formats. Companies have already started to put their crisps into more suitable formats for evening snacking. Golden Wonder has extended its Wheat Crunchies brand into sharing, resealable pots.
Tyrrells, which says sales of its larger bags are growing by 100% year-on-year, is responding to demand with a range of vegi and potato chips in shareable, resealable tubs due to hit shelves this month. Meanwhile, Doritos has improved its evening snacking range with the launch of Doritos ‘tear to share’ bag in a side-opening format.
Other changes to the range, which is being backed by a £2.8m marketing push including TV and cinema in 2005, include the launch of Doritos Tangy Salsa Dippas and new ‘Best Ever’ recipe Doritos Salsa Dips. “With all things salsa becoming increasingly popular in the UK, we believe that Tangy Salsa provides a great sales opportunity for retailers,” says PepsiCo trade marketing manager Nicky Seal.
Pringles has embarked on the biggest movie tie-in of the brand’s history with Star Wars Episode III, Revenge of the Sith. The brand is offering retailers an opportunity to rocket their profits to stellar heights with an on-pack promotion - ‘Win the Pringles Jedi Challenge’.
Also keen to capitalise on the growing trend for sharing, Chiltern Snacks plans to extend its premium hand-cooked crisps brand Salty Dog. The crisps are available in 35g and 50g packs in eight flavours, and the company hopes the launch of a 150g pack will boost sales. Due to hit shelves in August, the bigger pack size will be available in three flavours - sea salt, jalapeno & coriander and sea salt & malt vinegar.
With the increasing popularity of home entertainment systems, such as widescreen TVs, coupled with the nation’s love of popcorn, Monkhill Confectionery says it spotted a gap in the market for authentic cinema-style popcorn for people to eat while watching TV.
In April the company launched an improved version of its Buttekist Cinema Sweet, a bagged popcorn which it says has all the taste of the authentic sweet popcorn found in cinemas. It has also given its toffee popcorn a creamier taste.
Planters expanded from its heartland of nuts into popcorn last July with the launch of the microwaveable salted snack, Big Night In.