Absolutely nutty! Brits splash out extra £32m on nuts

Amy North

One of our 10 Things You Need To Know About… Snacking

Brits are going nutty for nuts, splashing out an extra £31.7m on them over the past year [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 29 January 2017].

They’re stealing sales from the likes of potato crisps and tortilla chips, pushing value sales up 7% to £483m on volumes up 3.3%. Crisps, meanwhile, suffered a £26.6m loss.

“Consumers are certainly more health-conscious swapping sugary snacks for healthier alternatives, which achieve higher satiety. Nuts are a great example of this,” says Kate Gaskell, MD of Fairtrade nut brand Liberation Foods.

A host of new ranges have been rolled out to meet these needs and they form a core part of c-stores’ snacking ranges. Spar, notably, launched a new own-label snacking range to tap consumer demand for healthier treats. The range included unsalted cashews, almonds and Brazil nuts alongside fruit & nut combos.

Own label has seen the largest increase in nut sales, up £16.8m, but brands are not far behind, up £14.9m. Kraft Heinz is now seeking to make its mark on the snack category with a 14-strong range and new look, positioning it as a healthy snacking option.

“This growth can be contributed to changing consumer habits. Ninety two per cent of individuals now snack at least once a day. A third of snackers have opted for healthier snacks in the past 12 months and 60% of shoppers consider health as a key decision factor,” notes Matthew Mill, head of snacking UK and Europe, Kraft Heinz. “Convenience is also a key factor when picking a snack, with nearly 80% of consumers looking for a portable snack, which is ready to eat and involves no prep.”

Protein is another key factor, says Blue Diamond, particularly among the gym-going crowd. “Packed with healthy fats, protein, magnesium and fibre, almonds are the perfect choice for the health conscious,” says Ian Greengrass, MD at Blue Diamond Europe. “Over past 12 months we’ve seen almonds over take pistachios as the preferred nut of choice for consumers.”

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