ISM/ProSweets 2017

Kettle Chips ventures out of UK and to new snack territory with Snyder’s-Lance

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UK business Kettle Foods is diversifying into new snacking avenues such as popcorn and potentially pretzels as it expands overseas with its parent firm.

Ashley Hicks, MD of Kettle Foods, told BakeryandSnacks, the acquisition of Kettle Foods by Snyder’s in March last year has taken the British chip business to the next level.

“Snyder’s has been making pretzels in the UK for just over 100 years. The company has grown organically on the back of its brands, but particularly through mergers and acquisitions to develop a much broader portfolio of snacks for different consumers,” said Hicks.

Kettle Foods is following suit.

From UK-centric chips brand to European snack firm

The Kettle chip maker, which started in 1988 in Norfolk, made inroads into the better-for-you popcorn category when it procured Metcalf’s Skinny Popcorn last year.

“The company has gone through transitioning what essentially has been a UK potato chip business into a European snack business,” said Hicks.

He said that Snyder’s-Lance is providing the know-how to “learn how to work with more countries and customers outside the UK and add more brands.”

Hicks told us the company is looking at moving into other categories, including baked snacks.

“We are looking into developing Snyder’s pretzel piece business that can be launched in a big way in the UK,” he said.

The product, which is made in the US, is proving immensely popular in Germany, but will be ‘tweaked’ specifically to appeal to UK tastes.

“Kettle Foods is providing Snyder’s with a new ‘railroad’ into consumer markets in the UK. We also export our chips to 23 European countries, reaching just over 300 million consumers outside the UK.

“Until now, we’ve only been trading with the Kettle brand, but together with Snyder’s-Lance, we want to develop a much larger snack portfolio.

Cultivating important concepts

Hicks said the snacks category has many prospects for growth.

“The eating-on-the-go trend is increasing, which means that snacking will continue to be important to people.”

He believes better-for-you concept and clean label will become entrenched in snacks in the short-term.

 “I think that clean label is going to become a minimum requirement – that’s just what consumers expect,” he said.

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