With Father's Day on the horizon and innovation happening across the snacking industry, there are plenty of new savoury snacks to get excited by. In fact customers of all generations are looking for something new as part of their daily snacking routine. But with the wealth of options available out there, what are the very best savoury snacks to enjoy with a beer or as a Father's Day gift?
Craft Meat Snacks | Crunchy Savoury Alternatives
Here we'll give you a closer look at our suggested best savoury and meat snacks to munch on with a pint this summer. Of course these ranges are also ideal for a themed protein snack-box, to introduce in to the workplace or simply re-invigorate your impulse snack category...
What are the snacking opportunities available?
From flavoured popcorn and lean charcuterie, to lentil-based chips and roasted corn kernels, there are any number of healthier savoury alternatives for health-conscious consumers to enjoy.
Crisps may be one of the nation's favourite snacks but, with a third of consumers looking for more variety, and the healthy snack market continuing to grow by record levels, alternatives to the traditional potato-based snack are quickly gaining popularity. It’s estimated that Brits consume a 6 billion packets of crisps a year (that’s 150 packets each!) and munch our way through more packets of the potato snack than any other neighbouring country.
Meat snacks are booming as well. The market’s primed for them (almost 4 in 5 of the population still count themselves as meat-eaters) and in this growth category, there is an opportunity given the better standard and quality of options available for retailers to drive the category forward.
"driven by a select group of smaller, challenger British brands"
After Britain was warned to stay in as part of lock-down in March, savoury snacks are proving the perfect companion for these binge-watching Netflix, Disney + or Amazon Prime sessions. Year-on-year crisp sales have skyrocketed 21% in the past month [Kantar 4 w/e 22 March 2020]. Nuts and popcorn sales have shot up 16% and 14% respectively.
In-home consumption is fuelling growth while the on-the-go occasion has declined. With shoppers increasingly staying at home, eating habits are going to change. People aren’t going out so it's more likely people will be buying more premium crisps and popcorn for consumption at home to replicate that cinema or out the house experience, while they’re watching Netflix etc.
Which are the best meat snacks out there?
The key to the perfect meaty snack lies in the accessibility - these snacks are ready to 'grab and go' with no cooking, prep or effort required. Further more shoppers are looking for craft snacks, expecting higher welfare standards, a greater appreciation paid to bold flavours, textures and differing formats. This in turn has been driven by a select group of smaller, challenger British brands.
Leading the pack is dry-cured beef jerky and biltong, both of which are fast becoming the go-to choice for beer drinkers and protein fans across the UK. For those uncertain, jerky is beef cut very thin and cooked on a rack at a low temperature to slowly dehydrate and cook the meat. While biltong is cured and marinated for 24 hours and then hung on hooks to air dry for up to a week.
"customers are willing to pay more on a product that is better quality"
Of course for some consumers the popularity of the meat snack will come as no surprise, they have been enjoying tasty treats such as pork crackling for years in the local. Now these pub staples have been re-imagined and given a modern twist by fast-growing brands such as The Curators - who we recently caught up with, EMBER protein packed biltong and Serious Pig, who have taken the original salami and added a delicious blend of herbs and spices to give a flavour hit that is difficult to resist.
The Snaffling Pig Co are on a mission to take pork crackling to places its never been before, using big, bold flavours and quality ingredients. We've never enjoyed a better tasting crackling or scratching. Available with hanging clip strips to make for the ideal accompaniment next to the alcohol chiller.
These new twists on the old classics are not just taking the flavour up a notch, they're updating recipes and changing cooking techniques to deliver a product that appeals to traditionalists as much as health-conscious shoppers. And of course, perfect to nibble on with a beer!
How about some crunchy savoury hits...
With innovation happening across the snacking industry, there are plenty of new products to get excited by and customers of all generations are looking for something new as part of their daily snacking routine. Purchases of healthy snacks have increased significantly, with the snacking industry worth £18bn and counting, and over 45% of customers looking for healthy options for their daily pick-me-up.
Such customers are willing to pay up to 9% more on a product that is better quality, with better quality ingredients most often identified as the defining characteristic of a premium brand. But which brands should retailers stock?
"modern version comes in the form of a healthier, more nutritionally-sound variety"
One of the big driving factors to look for is the variety of flavours and delicious ingredients that are changing the face of savoury snacks, from the humble lentil to scrumptious and tasty crunchy cheese and spelt pretzel bites, these savoury hits ignite all the senses and appeal to customers across the board.
Take PROPER's exciting lentil based range, PROPER CHIPS. Launching in big, bold fashion with over 1.2m reached on social media, available in new sharing bags perfect for the big night in. Founded by the team behind the UKs best selling premium popcorn, these Lentil Chips have sold well across all independents.
Can cheese be a convenient snack? Hardly.... until now. Cheesies turn cheese into delicious crunchy popped balls that are perfect to eat anywhere you like and because cheese is the only ingredient, Cheesies make the perfect on the go savoury hit with a drink. The result.... turning a humble lump of cheese into a delicious crunchy popped snack. High in protein, low in carbs and calories. Who would turn that down? Fewer calories than a bag of sweet & salty popcorn, this is surprisingly healthier alternative to go with a beer.
Further more it's exciting to see Serious Pig expand out away from their traditional meat base to other savoury nibbles such as their delicious new Crunchy Pickles. Crunchy, tangy, delicious and totally new!
Often when it comes to snacking, the reworked modern version comes in the form of a healthier, more nutritionally-sound variety of an instantly recognisable food - just as Indie Bay has done with the classic pretzel. Reinvented into a ball shape and made with popular ingredients such as quinoa. With a few minor tweaks the snack fits perfectly into a number of key health trends including vegan, sugar-free and protein-rich diets.
Why it will work for independents
While social media platforms such as Instagram have helped lead the way for trends, they are also proving the perfect space to showcase the popularity of snacking options, with over 300,000 posts dedicated to food such as #BeefJerky and over 2million #healthysnacks posts, proving the new wave of snacks are as much a hit with audiences old and new.
Having a wider selection of savoury snacks along with traditional potato crisps not only begins opening existing customers to a wider selection of options, but also help to attract a new audience to your outlet. Key to achieving success is the ability to react quickly to trends, keep stock levels nimble and finding the right mix of popular brand leaders and up and coming new finds.
One of the highest growth areas for snacking is the rise in convenient, innovative and, above all, healthier snacks which are appearing at a rapid rate and bringing with them a new approach to buying impulse snacks. Far from the agonising three minutes stood in front of the counter weighing up ready salted nuts versus crisps, keen consumers are now turning online to find inspiration and hot trends - being influenced by their international social feeds and savvy product placement to determine their crunchy savoury snack to go with their bottled lager or craft cider.
As experts in wholesome snacks, the team at Epicurium have compiled an easy to follow guide to the best healthy snacks for retailers - from sure fire hits to some of the freshest new brands on the market. Take a look at some of the new products you could be stocking to capture a greater share of the snacking audience. With a quick turnaround of 24-48 hours, no minimum order number and free delivery on any order over £80, our team here at Epicurium can have you tapping into freshest healthy snack and crisp alternatives in no time.