On Tuesday 23rd August we examined the burgeoning snacking sector — and heard from some of the companies successfully sating consumer appetites within it.
The market for snack foods has grown exponentially in recent years, with tempting new options bursting onto the scene daily. At our most recent Members' Breakfast Briefing, we examined the context behind this growth and studied some of the brands that are serving up surprises — and growing healthy businesses in the process.
To help us do this, we were joined by Amy Price, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at market research and insight agency, Mintel. Amy drew on recent research from the consultancy to help us explore the landscape of the snacking sector, and discover how consumer snacking habits are changing across the UK.
Joining Amy was Anthony Fletcher — CEO of Graze, the popular subscription service that delivers hand-picked, nutritionally-balanced snack boxes to people’s doors and desks. Started by seven friends "sick of crisps and candy" who craved a healthier way to snack, Anthony explained how the company’s clever model has helped bolster its success — and satisfy its growing ranks of health-conscious customers.
We also welcomed Ryan Kohn, Co-Founder of thriving snack brand and Company Member, PROPERCORN. He shared the story behind the brand, and explained how it's brightly-illustrated bags of popcorn have made their way onto London Fashion Week's frow, Tesco's shelves — and into the hands (and mouths) of people seeking a guilt-free snack.
Know your market
Breaking Mintel’s recent research down to bite-size portions, Amy Price provided us with an overview of the UK snacking sector. She revealed that 95% of the UK adult population snack, 71% doing so more than once a day. While Mintel’s research found that indulgent snacks, such as chocolate, crisps and biscuits were still popular options, 70% of people agreed that manufacturers should do more to reduce sugar in their products, and that 54% would be interested in healthier versions of these snacks.
With 58% of UK adults sharing that they are trying to eat healthy all or most of the time, this demand for healthier snacking options isn’t surprising. Ryan also shared that the habit of healthy snacking is growing at more than double the speed of total snacks, seeing almost £100 million in growth within the past year alone, and both he and Anthony emphasised the importance of catering to this ever-increasing demand.
Make it exciting
When Graze’s journey began, Anthony and his co-founders found that snacks were either "boring or bad for you" — there were many healthy products on the market, but people weren't excited about eating them. It became part of their mission to "make good exciting." Moreover, they also recognised that, although the food market is one of the world’s largest, online sales are still small. They committed to using technology to create an innovative and healthy new snack brand. Now, as a multi-channel consumer goods service (operating across e-commerce, CPG and B2B ), Graze creates products that let customers curate and customize their snacks, from hundreds of options that use ingredients that are free of GMO, trans-fat and artificial additives — to satisfy their cravings.
PROPERCORN seeks to build excitement amongst its audience through its unique marketing techniques. Ryan highlighted three campaigns that have set PROPERCORN apart from its competitors, including the Institute of Flavour, a collaboration with culinary creatives Bompass & Parr that invited consumers to learn about the process of creating new popcorn flavours, and provided them with the opportunity to do it themselves. Over 12,500 consumers participated and the winning flavour, Honeycomb, is now on shelves.
React to the data
For Graze, data drives innovation. The company relies heavily on analytics and data science to improve its products and service. This information is sourced from online data, drawn from customer orders and emails; an Internet of Things supply chain; third party online and social data, e.g. Facebook engagement; and retail and B2B data. This information is then fed into the company to help develop areas such as taste customization, product development, a multi-channel single customer view, KPI automation and marketing attriubution.
A vertically integrated business model allows the company to have full control over ingredients it uses, the process of production, and customer fulfillment. While in his own words Anthony admits this can be an "operational nightmare," it means that they can bring a new idea to market quickly (often within 24-hours), with zero cost of innovation.
Be more than just a business
While many of the topics raised by the speakers centered on how the demands of the snack market could be addressed, there was also the opportunity to discuss how companies can use the platform provided by this opportunity to be "more than just a business."
Ryan summarised this by sharing the ways that PROPERCORN is addressing wider issues, including its commitment to reducing the use of non-biodegradable materials and offering mentorships to the young and aspiring, and the importance of being transparent about what they’re doing to contribute, as well as what they aren’t. By doing this, as well as by providing an in-demand product, PROPERCORN has been able to build the most loyal base of customers in comparison to other popcorn labels, and holds an 86% share of voice as the most talked about popcorn brand.
Location:Shoreditch House Library,
London, E1 6AW,
Start:23rd August, 2016 at 9:00am
End:23rd August, 2016 at 11:00am