Q&A with Matt Smith, Marketing Director for Tayto Group Ltd (www.taytogroup.com)
(owners of market-leading Mr. Porky and Midland Snacks scratchings, REAL hospitality-exclusive premium hand cooked crisps and Golden Wonder family favourite Animal Adventures).

What are the latest trends in bar snacks and what are consumers looking for as the perfect partner to their drinks?

We recently asked consumers what appeals to them the most, when looking for a snack to accompany an alcoholic drink1, and they said:
– Good crunch and texture
– Premium quality
– Strong flavour
– A bigger bag to share with others
– A brand that you wouldn’t eat every day

It’s important to cover a large range of ages and dietary requirements with your snacks offering. Pub-goers are more and more conscious about what they – and their families – eat. 4 in 10 Brits regularly shop the free-from fixture2, buying local and British-made are key purchase drivers for food3 and the flexitarian diet is set to be the No. 1 diet in 2022 (more popular than calorie counting) 3.

Nearly 3 in 10 pub-goers want to see pubs offer a better range4, so here’s a short list of the most popular snack types and flavours:
Pork scratchings – an especially popular accompaniment to a lager, beer or cider drink. Midland Scratchings are traditional hand cooked scratchings and the ultimate pub snack! Mr. Porky is the the UK’s No1 pork snack. The Nation’s favourite includes a range of textures and bite sizes to tempt and tantalise!

Hand cooked crisps – particularly favoured by Gin drinkers. The staple favourites of Sea Salt and Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar are must-stock flavours, alongside Cheese & Onion (of course!) 1. To widen appeal, consider hot and meaty flavours for younger male clientele and flavours like Sweet Chilli too 1. These flavours, not usually eaten at home, offer something familiar but different – a less traditional alternative. The premium REAL Hand Cooked Crisps range is gluten free, with no added MSG, suitable for vegetarians and six flavours are suitable for vegans too. With 82% brand awareness in a recent survey of Craft Gin Club members, they’re proving incredibly popular with the 25-34-year age bracket. And our new improved mouth-wateringly meaty Roast Ox flavour has just won a Great Taste 2002 Award!

Family favourites – Golden Wonder Animal Adventures are lightly salted animal-shaped fun snacks, they are gluten free and have no artificial colours or preservatives.

Is there a No. 1 bar snack?
Scratchings really are the ULTIMATE PUB SNACK! They topped the list when 2,000 pub-goers were asked to name their favourite pub snack.5 This comes as no surprise as 94% of pork snacks are consumed with a drink6. The combination of a pint and scratchings has been passed down generations and is fundamental to the Great British pub experience. There really is no matching a scratching!

Premium crisps are another essential bar snack, given a consumer survey showed that 82% of pub-goers eat them4. As a partner to a gin & tonic, hand cooked crisps are the top snack – preferred five times more than nuts and premium crisps1. Offering hand cooked crisps are that bit more special than everyday (flat) crisps and consumers are willing to pay up to 30% more for premium, over standard snacks7 – a treat for both customer and licensee!

Can offering bar snacks affect revenue?
Bar Snacks offer a brilliant opportunity to increase sales through the ‘double whammy’ of generating incremental sales AND boosting dwell time. 80% of people don’t regularly buy a snack with a drink – and the main reason for not doing so is “I just didn’t think about it”8.

We also know that seeing is believing – and visibility can improve snack sales by 80%9.

Prompting a purchase by displaying snacks prominently and getting staff to offer them, can make all the difference.” explains Matt Smith, Marketing Director for Tayto Group Ltd, owners of the UK’s top pork snacks brands – Mr. Porky and Midland Snacks – as well as the award-winning hospitality-exclusive REAL Hand Cooked Crisps.

By not offering a range of premium snacks, pubs could be leaving money on the bar as Smith explains, “Our research shows that most people either have no idea what they pay for pub snacks, or expect to pay over £1 a pack, so venues can easily make over 50p profit per pack8. All it takes is for staff to ask, “Would you like a snack with your drinks?”

Snacks also have the potential to increase sales of drinks. Pork scratchings are a great example. The perfect partner to cider, wine and especially premium beers and lagers, their unique taste balances the sharpness or carbonation, while the saltiness enhances the flavour and helps get your thirst on!

What do your brands offer to the hospitality industry?

Pub consumers look for brands they can trust and it’s important to stock proven sellers!

Tayto has a range of award-winning snacks to suit every pub:

Mr. Porky Original Scratchings – the No 1 brand10 from the most recognised name in scratchings and a Great Taste award-winning scratching
Midland Snacks Traditional Scratchings – the No. 2 brand10 and our best-selling pubcard – is also a Great Taste award-winning hand cooked scratching using a recipe that has stood the test of time
Mr. Porky Crispy Strips – a lighter bite, akin to crispy bacon rinds, for those who want all the taste of a scratching but a less hard texture, and another Great Taste award-winner
REAL Hand Cooked Crisps – premium, award-winning, hospitality-exclusive brand. 100% vegetarian, no added MSG and 100% gluten free – with strong flavours and characterful packaging which really stands out and drives sales.
Golden Wonder Animal Adventures – vegetarian, gluten-free, no added nasties, animal-shaped fun snacks that kids love!

Given that snack sales increase by up to 80% when they are more visible9, Tayto provides pub-focused solutions such as eye-catching pubcards for pork scratchings to be hung behind the bar and a range of FREE POS for REAL crisps – available at realcrisps.com/POS
Snacks offer a simple route to incremental sales – if customers are prompted to buy them with their drinks. Thankfully there are a few simple tips for venues to achieve this:
– Stock a range of proven, premium snacks that have been developed for the licensed sector
o Award-winning pork scratching pubcards from Midland Snacks and Mr. Porky
o Premium REAL Hand Cooked Crisps – which are exclusive to the hospitality sector
– Get your team to prompt purchase
o ‘Would you like some crisps or pork scratchings with your drinks?’ is all it takes!
– Put your snacks where customers can see them
o Pubcards behind the bar
o A full range of crisps on the bar or visible on the back wall
o Bar runners and coasters are great eye-catching prompts

SOURCES:
1. Craft Gin Club Members Survey | March 2021
2. Harris Interactive | 2017
3. Bray Leino Food and Drink Report | 2021
4. Norstat | Consumer Usage | March 2019
5. Perspectus Global Poll | March 2021
6. Norstat | June 22
7. CGA Strategy Research | 2016/2017
8. Norstat | Nov 20
9. HIM! Foodservice 2016
10. IRI Market Advantage | IRI All Outlets GB | Pork Snacks | Value to 52 w/e 15-Jan-22.