For Americans, anytime is crunch time and salty snacks are the preferred craving crusher whether by the bagful, as an accompaniment to a lunchtime sandwich or by the bowlful while watching the big game on television.
To increase sales in this category, convenience stores should position themselves as “salty snack central,” where shoppers can be assured of finding a wide variety of flavors, package sizes, brands and tempting promotions.
The potato chip category is a particularly dynamic one with products available in a constantly growing array of flavors from sweet-and-smoky barbecue to spicy sriracha. For retailers, that makes for an infinite number of opportunities for limited-time offers (LTOs) which can be used to not only keep the selection fresh and exciting, but also to determine which products merit a permanent place on the shelf.
Since many consumers are brand loyal when it comes to their salty snacks, retailers should stock a good assortment of the big names in the category. It is also important to keep abreast of popular regional brands, and some retailers even carry their own proprietary brands that have their own fan base.
Individual-size bags of chips lend themselves well to building special promotional-priced bundles with sandwiches, soft drinks and beer. Use signage and shelf talkers in the deli and fountain areas as well as near the coolers and beer cave to remind shoppers of these special deals. A bundle is also an easy perk to encourage use of loyalty cards.
During the pandemic when road and store traffic were lighter and more people were staying at home, large bags of chips sold better than individual ones. Retailers report that as more people go back to work and normal travel resumes, individual bag sales are rebounding.
Pretzels, the other half of the salty snack dynamic duo, are available in many shapes from traditional to rods, sticks, nuggets and even flavored pieces. Like chips, they pair naturally with beverages so they should be available for grab-and-go at the cold dispensed beverage area and near the coolers and beer cave. A pretzel and soft drink bundle also makes for an attractive promotional offer.