Katy Hamblin, marketing manager at Pipers, just voted Britain’s Best Brand of savoury snack for the sixth consecutive year, emphasises the increasing importance of premium crisps and the unique opportunity they offer operators to increase sales and margin.

What are the best performing bar snacks?

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 bars.

What’s the message for licenced operators?

The figures send a clear message to 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.

What target consumers, are these aimed at?

By selecting the right premium crisp brand operators can further enhance the benefits they achieve. Look for a range of flavours that are on-trend and accompany a wide variety of drink choices. For example, our recently launched Jalapeno & Dill meets the current trend for heat and exciting flavour combinations that satisfy consumers’ desire for innovation. This is particularly relevant for 18-34-year-olds, the most significant snack-buying segment and a key target for licensed operators. Like all Pipers Crisps, Jalapeno & Dill is a strong, ‘grown-up’ flavour, so it will be popular in pubs, clubs and bars where it’s the perfect accompaniment for an ice-cold bottled lager served with fresh lime.

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.

What about the trend for healthier eating?

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. Pipers Crisps is proud to announce the launch of a new range of highly innovative snacks designed to tap into the fast growing ‘better for you’ (BFY) sector. Pipers Crispeas are a fresh take on the British pea, available in three delicious flavours – Matar Paneer, Salsa Verde and English Mint – offering a low calorie (less than 95 kcal per pack) source of protein and source of fibre snack, with all the bold taste associated with a Pipers snack. Pipers Crispeas are gluten-free, wheat-free, barley-free and suitable for vegetarians.

Pipers Contact Details: Tel 01652 686960, www.piperscrisps.com