Snack sales soaring in convenience despite rising costs

Despite the cost-of-living crisis taking its toll on customer expenditure, people are still continuing to purchase snacks to treat themselves.

This is according to KP Snacks, who yesterday at its annual category update in London, told betterRetailing that the crisps, snacks and nuts category (CSN) in convenience was growing ahead of the total packaged grocery category at 9.5% – which is more than any other food and drink category.

Within CSN, the supplier said more shoppers were buying bagged snacks from convenience stores, alongside shopping more often, and paying more per pack. This, said the supplier, could be an ongoing effect from the peak of the pandemic, where more customers turned to their local stores.

Looking more in depth at snacking, large price-marked packs (PMP) are driving this growth, commanding a 33% share, followed by large sharing packs, handy packs and multipacks.

Within the sharing segment as a whole, which includes PMPs, 83% of the growth is incremental to the category, reiterating the importance of these formats, with 64% of the supplier’s growth incremental to the category.

KP Snacks explained that while retailers should be investing in new lines at certain points to drive excitement, it’s more important to focus on core, with 98% of sales and 75% of category growth coming from core ranges, such as McCoy’s, Hula Hoops and Butterkist.

Food-to-go missions have also increased their share from 13% to 14.6% from March to May this year, with treat occasions having increased by nearly 1% in the past year. Daytime meal occasions in convenience are also on the rise, spearheaded by hybrid working.

Plus, even with rising inflation, the supplier said brands are still key for consumers, so stocking bestsellers in PMP formats is one way to keep this momentum up.  

When it comes to promotions in the category, 20% of crisps and snacks are purchased on a meal deal, and the top items bought alongside them include cola, sports and energy drinks and fruit juices. With this in mind, there is ample opportunity for cross-merchandising and clever displays.

Where is the best place to position crisps, snacks and nuts in-store?

When it comes to location in-store, the areas which generate the most snack sales in order are:

  • The main display
  • Shelf stand
  • Front of store
  • Till point
  • Free-standing display units
  • Within the queuing system

Meanwhile, the key trading times are between 12pm-2pm, with 29% of purchases happening during this period.

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