Alex Albone, founder of Pipers Crisps, voted Britain’s Best Brand of savoury snack for the fifth consecutive year, emphasises the increasing importance of premium crisps and the unique opportunity they offer operators to increase sales and margin.
Premium crisps are one of the best-performing types of snack in the on-trade at present, having almost doubled their penetration in less than five years. They also represent a significant advantage over ‘standard’ and ‘value’ crisps in terms of their rate of sale and price/margin. Premium crisps command around a 30% price premium over quality mainstream products (CGA Trading Index figures).
Ever-more sophisticated consumer tastes have led licensed outlets to premiumise their food menus, enhance flavours and improve provenance. This trend has also driven the ‘premiumisation’ of snacks and is the reason behind the huge sales growth in this category. The growth is happening right across the UK, in all kinds of pubs; managed, branded or independent.
What does this mean for the licensed operator?
The figures send a clear message to licensed operators; premium crisps offer a great opportunity to grow sales and increase margin by meeting the consumer demand for greater menu sophistication and food provenance. Premium crisps are the perfect snack for more discerning customers who don’t mind paying for high quality, great-tasting products.
By selecting the right premium crisp brand operators can further enhance the benefits they achieve. Look for a range of flavours that accompany a wide variety of drink choices. For example, these days, crisps aren’t just for beer drinkers; Britain’s growing number of spirit drinkers – particularly gin – are realising that premium crisps are also the perfect partner for their favourite tipple. The gin-drinking revolution is currently riding the crest of a wave based on exciting new premium blends. Gin distillers are travelling the world discovering the best flavour combinations – juniper and other botanicals – to make their gin unique.
Gin drinkers are looking for high quality snacks with innovative herbal flavours that go really well with these gins. Flavours such as thyme and rosemary work really well in premium crisps, and are a perfect match for great gins.
It’s also a good idea to recognise the increasing importance of healthier eating and the fact that growing numbers of people are choosing to follow a gluten-free diet, either because they are gluten intolerant or suffer from coeliac disease. So, as an additional selling point, look for a range of premium crisps that is gluten-free and preferably also wheat-free and barley-free.
Alex’s Top Tips for driving bar snack sales…
• Choose premium crisps for the best rate of sale and top cash margin
• Offer only great-tasting snacks with good provenance
• Place packs in clear view, on or behind the bar
• Offer a point of difference – don’t offer something that’s available in every supermarket
• Train staff to use every drink sale as an opportunity for cross-selling your snacks
• Use snacks as part of your food offering (e.g. a ploughman’s with Pipers Crisps)
Pipers contact details: Tel: 01652 686960
or visit www.piperscrisps.com