Guest column: KP Snacks Trading Director Matt Collins
KP Snacks Trading Director Matt Collins discusses how in-depth insight into the latest consumer trends drives the new product launches in your depot
The bagged snacks market is outperforming other impulse categories such as biscuits or confectionery, with volume sales growing at 4.2%, so there is a great appetite to develop new products here. KP Snacks has been driving category growth for more than a year through sustainable, insight-led strategies that have resulted in our volume sales growing ahead of the category at 7.2%.
We believe in sustainable NPD; not just launching the latest fad which could be here today and gone tomorrow. We want to drive excitement and harness trends that will truly stimulate the category and deliver incremental sales over the long term.
Our latest, and biggest ever, new product launch – McCoy’s Muchos – taps into the growing popularity of one of the UK’s biggest food trends: Mexican. Mexican is now the third most popular cuisine eaten at home in the UK, and the nation’s fourth favourite takeaway, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing.
However, even though Mexican is the trend of the moment, and holds the position of third-largest segment within the sharing crisps and snacks category, it has been performing behind the market due to a lack of innovation in the category. We wanted to harness this opportunity and respond to insight that told us, when sharing, 90% of consumers want to try something new. This led us to come up with the idea for McCoy’s Muchos.
We know from category insight that at 51%, flavour is the number-one purchase driver so this is integral to any new product we develop. Muchos stands for more: more flavour, more excitement, more of an experience. And as we developed the concept, we were mindful of the core idea of creating an authentic snack, which had real roots in Mexican cuisine, and delivered the McCoy’s promise of full-on flavour. We don’t just draw our insights from consumer tastes, we also look at shopper behaviour to inform our format choices and shape how best to sell as many of our new products as possible.
For example, there are 1.7 billion sharing occasions every year across the UK and at KP Snacks we have seen huge growth in this area with value sales up 7.4% versus the rest of the market, which stands at 5.7%. Our strong price-marked pack (PMP) portfolio is a clear driving force behind this and sales are up 16.3% for the sharing segment in total impulse.
It includes products across all of KP Snacks’ most popular brands and is growing ahead of the market at a staggering +40.9% (worth £33m RSV). PMPs encourage impulse purchases as they give consumers confidence in the value message. And with 82% of retailers telling us they want PMPs and 59% being more likely to stock NPD in a PMP format, it was essential for us to respond to this and develop a price-marked McCoy’s Muchos sharing bag too.