Despite the vast array of creative flavours lining the crisp aisles, its plain old ready salted that Brits favour above all others.
From Morrison’s Chipotle Pulled Pork BBQ to M&S’ Scottish Langoustines with Dill and Lemon, innovation in the industry has led to an explosion of flavour combinations. In fact, more than 400 are now on offer to consumers.
However new research carried out by the Agricultural and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) reveals ready salted as the nation’s most popular, with a quarter of volume and spend sales going on salted varieties.
Runners up include meat and cheese flavours with 18 and 16 per cent in volume sales, followed by salt and vinegar (nine per cent), chili (four per cent) and prawn (two per cent).
According to Mintel, crisps are Britain’s favourite savory snack, with seven in 10 of us admitting their addictive moreish-ness and claiming they provoke feelings of nostalgia. According to Kantar, 93 per cent of households buy the snack, with sales reaching almost £950 million last year.
Crisps feature third in the overall snack rankings, with consumers saying they buy more chocolate and fruit in comparison. Within the crisp category, potatoes take the lead with 87 per cent of consumers heaving eaten them in the last 3 months, followed by biscuit types at 49 per cent, according to Mintel 2019.
Latest research also shows promotions prove invaluable within the crisps sector, with a third of all sales coming from that area. However according to NPD Crest, sales from meal deals have decreased slightly since 2018 with consumers turning to alternatives such as popcorn.
Grace Randall, Consumer Insight Analyst and author of the report, said: “Despite new flavours making up a quarter of all crisp flavours, they only account for 2.5 per cent of volume sales. In fact 70 per cent of us still enjoy the same flavours we did as a child. For new products it appears consumers are enticed by form – not flavour.
“Innovation within the industry means consumers now have a wide range of new products to choose from such as popcorn, pea and lentil crisps and rice cakes. This has led to potato crisps losing volume sales, five per cent over the last year according to Kantar.
But traditional potato crisps still dominate the sector due to consumer’s love affair with them, 70 per cent of us consider them as comfort food – evident in the 22 per cent rise in ‘sharing’ bag volume sales over the past 5 years.”
The full report can be viewed here.