The festive period is crunch time as the big snack players prepare to do battle
It had to happen. Turkey and Paxo crisps! Walkers is launching the flavour on November 1 as part of its limited edition Great British Flavours range which caught the imaginations of the munching public with Marmite and Cheese and Branston and claimed a five per cent share of the impulse market during its life span.
"We are extremely excited about the launch of the new flavour," said Walkers trade marketing manager Cath Painter. "Not only are turkey-and-Paxo stuffing purchases at their highest during Christmas, but it is also a key time for crisp sales and novelty flavours.
"We expect Turkey and Paxo to be a huge festive hit. It scored extremely well in consumer tasting trials and we are urging retailers to stock up early to make the most of the eight-week run."
As well as anticipating that their customers will be in an experimental mood, Walkers recommends that licensees stock up on enough best-sellers to see them through the holiday period, pointing out that 80 per cent of snack sales come from the top 20 lines.
KP, meanwhile, is trying to cover all the angles with a special Christmas snacks range that incorporates products from some of the company's best selling brands.
"Growing demand for big-bag snacks and nuts during the festive period creates enormous opportunities for increasing sales as consumers look to purchase products that are novel, indulgent and good value for money," explained KP marketing director Mandy Ferguson.
"Last Christmas snack sales grew to £140m largely fuelled by sharing packs with consumers ready to party with their family and friends."
Party pots will be available in Original Salted and Dry Roasted, while the luxury range will feature new eye-catching gold packaging.
McCoy's Dips range is also designed for Christmas snacking with three flavour variants - Chunky BBQ dip and Flame Grilled Steak crisps, Mango Chutney dip and Balti Curry crisps and Salsa dip and Rock Salt crisps.
Hula Hoop Minis in resealable tubs are suited to Christmas sharing and Original and Sizzling Bacon flavours have outperformed expectations since their launch less than a year ago. A new flavour, Flamin Chicken Wings, is designed to increase sales even further over the festivities.
Mini Cheddars consistently shows strong growth during the party season and this Christmas sees the introduction of a limited edition Pepperami flavour, linking the brand with the UK's most popular meat snack.
Adult premium snacking is tipped for growth and KP's recently relaunched Phileas Fogg range will be extended by two special products for Christmas - Yoghurt, Mint and Cumin Poppadoms and Spicy Thai Savoury Mix.
Don't forget the kids. Christmas time is family time so if you allow children into your pub you could think about offering them something sweet to nibble on.
Chupa Chups, the curiously named company best-known for its powerful mini-mints Smints, recommends a bit of creativity with lollipops. For example, you can
- dot them around Christmas meal tables
- put them in goodie bags at kids' parties
- pull them out as an after-dinner surprise
- add them to your snacks range
- install a vending machine in the games room.
Chupa Chups' lolly display equipment includes a Christmas tree stand ready-packed with nine different flavours. At only 15cm wide you should find room for it on your back-bar.