New chip flavour from Cobs

From the makers of Australia’s favourite popcorn, Cobs, comes a new style of chip called Pop’d Chips, for those looking for a healthier chip, popped full of flavour.

Pop’d Chips are air popped to perfection, ensuring they have all the crunch and flavour burst of a regular chip, but better for you.

Using a unique blend of Potato, Rice and Corn, Pop’d Chips are created by combining heat and pressure, which then air-pops into a deliciously crispy chip. The perfect amount of premium High Oleic Sunflower oil and flavour-packed seasonings are added, to create a super-crunchy, healthier chip.

“Pop’d Chips have 60 per cent less fat than a regular potato chip, without loosing the flavour and crunch that chip fans love and expect”, says Kristie Ellerton, Head of Marketing at Cobs.

“Over the past fourteen years, Cobs has established itself as a leader in the ready-to-eat popcorn category, and we’re now taking our knowledge of ‘better for you’ snacks into the development of this flavour-packed chip range.”

Bursting off the shelves in Woolworths stores and independent supermarkets nationally, Pop’d Chips are now available in three delicious flavours: Sour Cream and Chives, Sweet Chilli and Sour Cream, and Salt of the Sea.

Sour Cream & Chives: This delicious combination of smooth sour cream, with a little sweetness and a touch of tang packs a burst of flavour.

Sweet Chili And Sour Cream: The creaminess of sour cream combined with the sweetness and spice of tomato and chilli delivers a big flavour hit.

Salt of the Sea: with just the right amount of sea salt, this Pop’d Chips flavour delivers that deliciously salty chip taste.

With the super crunch blend, bursting flavour, and being a better for you snack, Pop’d Chips are perfect for any share occasion, whether it be a friend’s BBQ, a day on the beach, picnic or movie night.

Gourmet Pommies bringing back chip sangers for summer

Tyrrells have launched their latest chip flavour sensation – a spirited fusion of tangy sundried tomatoes with England’s finest export – the universally admired Worcestershire sauce.

Following the huge success of the launch of Tyrrells vegetable root chips in April of this year, Tyrrells are back to launch their newest creation, a combination of truly classic English favours – Worcestershire Sauce and Sun-Dried Tomato chips.

To celebrate the launch, Tyrrells have bought on The Gourmet Pommies, Will and Steve as the official ambassadors. They’ve created a range of ultimate chip sangers, perfect for any summer occasion. These include freshly baked ciabatta with wagyu striploin and goats cheese stuffed with Tyrrells Worcestershire sauce and sun-dried tomato crisps and garlic aioli; a beer battered fish and tartare sauce bap with Tyrrells sea salt and vinegar chip and; a cheese and piccalilli melt on sourdough with mature cheddar and chive crisps and a punchy pesto.

Made in the heart of the Yarra Valley with only the finest Australian potatoes, complete with jackets – (it’s only proper), Tyrrells chips are hand-cooked in the smallest of batches in a quintessentially English manner to achieve their signature curl and crunch. Made with the traditional artisan methods of hand pulling and hand seasoning, the chips are made from organic potatoes, grown in traditional methods and free from pesticides. Tyrrells really are the perfect accompaniment to any summer bash.


Kettle Fried Potato Chips recalled

Snack Brands Australia has recalled Kettle Rosemary and Sea Salt and Kettle Sea Salt from Woolworths and Coles stores in the ACT, NSW and VIC because they could contain foreign materials.

The NSW Food Authority issued a warning saying the products may contain white rubber pieces.

Specifically, the recalled products are:

  • Kettle Sea Salt (175g) at Woolworths in NSW, ACT & Vic.
  • Kettle Sea Salt (300g) at Woolworths in NSW & ACT
  • Rosemary & Sea Salt (175g) at Coles in NSW & ACT

Snack Brands Australia’s statement reads: “Consumers should not eat this product as they represent a possible choking hazard. Consumers should return the affected product to the place of purchase for a full cash refund. We apologise for any inconvenience.”


Skin-on Rustic range of chips

McCain Foods has launched a range of skin-on chips which showcase the nutritiously natural taste of the potato.

One of the biggest trends in Australia’s food industry is centred around consumers’ need for more natural products. Beyond their growing interest in food and nutrition, Australians are becoming more aware of how products are being made. Consumers are looking for convenient foods with the deliciously natural taste of homemade.

While the frozen potato category continues to grow, many consumers still avoid the freezer aisle due to the perception that it is full of unhealthy and overly-processed foods. McCain Foods want to change the misconception and old reputation of frozen.

McCain Rustic Chips are made with natural ingredients and no artificial colours or flavours. Marketing Manager Allen Hunt said “We’re delighted to introduce this range of chips to the freezer, giving our time-poor consumers a convenient option that tastes as good as homemade.”

To support the launch, McCain have partnered with chefs at the popular My Market Kitchen TV show to develop easy recipes and serving suggestions using Rustic Chips.

The McCain Foods Rustic chip range, offering consumers the choice of Thin or Chunky cut, is now available in freezer aisles nationally.

Cobs Popcorn releases new flavour

Cobs Popcorn has released a new flavour to pay homage to the bustling metropolis and legends of the famous American city, Chicago.

Featuring a blend of sweet, buttery caramel and extra tasty cheddar cheese popcorn, this eclectic mix of popcorn delivers on a big city taste.

The caramel popcorn is created with raw and brown sugar together with brown rice syrup and fresh butter. A splash of pure vanilla adds a sweet, creamy taste.

The cheddar cheese flavour is seasoned with a cheddar cheese recipe, providing a big cheese taste for the serious cheese lover.

This new flavour was introduced to satisfy people looking for a unique flavor combination, and reflects Australia’s changing palette.

Cobs Chicago Mix is gluten free and made with natural ingredients, and joins Cobs favourites like Lightly Salted, Slightly Sweet, Sea Salt, and Aged White Cheddar.


Smith’s brings back two fan-favourite potato chip flavours

Smith’s Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Smith’s Bega Cheese will make a comeback this week and be available for a limited time only.

“Our Comebacks campaign was born from the fact that we are always getting requests to bring back some of our much-loved Smith’s flavours from the past,” said Smith’s Marketing Manager Olivia Sutherland.

“Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Bega Cheese are two of the flavours which are consistently requested by consumers. Our research indicated that these nostalgic flavour re-releases are popular with Aussie shoppers and will drive excitement within the snacks category, and help retailers drive incremental sales.”

The products are now available for a limited time in Woolworths, Coles, independent retailers and petrol and convenience stores in 80g and 150g sizes.

Thins Oporto Original Chilli Sauce potato chips

Oporto has teamed up thinly sliced potato chip makers Thins to create a new taste combination – Thins Oporto Original Chilli Sauce potato chips.

Light, crispy and tasty, Oporto’s Original Chilli Sauce Thins include the big flavours Australians have come to expect from Oporto’s famous Original Chilli Sauce – a chilli hit balanced with zesty lemon and a hint of ginger and garlic.

“For over 30 years, Australians have been obsessed with the taste of Oporto’s Original Chilli Sauce! We have been looking at fun and innovative ways that we can continue to give customers this spicy flavour on new and exciting products,” said Vanessa Rowed, Oporto’s Head of Marketing.

“Last year we launched popcorn, seasoned with our Original Chilli Sauce and this month we are very excited to have partnered up with Snack Brands to spice up the Aussie favourite ‘Thins chips’. This is an exciting partnership for our brand, extending our reach beyond our store footprint and introducing more Australians to the flavours that made this brand famous.”


Cob’ Hip Chips range

From the company behind Cobs Popcorn, comes a new range for those who give a chip about great taste, Cobs Hip Chips.

Set to introduce their take on a classic potato chip with a completely new twist, Cobs’ range of Hip Chips are made from potato, rice and corn, and have just landed at 7-Eleven stores nationally.

Hip Chips are produced using a unique, heat expansion process: Cobs has added just the right amount of sunflower oil, and premium seasonings made from the finest natural ingredients. The result is a tasty, top quality chip that provides a satisfying, high-crunch snacking experience.

7-Eleven stores have picked up two of the delicious flavours, including:

Tomato, Cheese And Olive: With the tang of tomato and olive, mixed with the richness of cheese, this flavour will make you feel as if your sailing away on the Mediterranean!

Sweet Chili And Sour Cream: The creaminess of sour cream combined with the sweetness of chilli, and just a hint of spice, will leave your tastebuds tingling!

Two additional flavours, Smokey Chipotle And Beetroot, and Salt of the Sea are also available from independent grocers.

The new range of Hip Chips pack an intense flavor, and with a light but crunch texture, they’re simply not like regular chips. They’re healthy and light, but offer an absolute taste explosion.

One of the key features of the Cobs range is that there are no secrets when it comes to the ingredients used to create their unique flavours.

Cobs Hip Chips

From the company behind Australia’s favourite, popcorn brand, Cobs Popcorn, comes a new chip range, Cobs Hip Chips. Made from 100 per cent Australian whole grain corn, potato and rice, Hip Chips are made without using vegetable oil, which often masks the flavour.

Manufacturer: Cobs Fine Foods

Ingredients: Potato Flakes, Rice Flour, Corn Flour, Sugar, Salt, Sunflower Oil – High Oleic, Seasoning (Sugar, Corn starch), Vegetable powders (Tomato, Onion, Garlic), Yeast extracts, Potassium chloride, Natural flavours, Salt, Sour cream powder, Food acids natural

Country of Origin: Australia

Launch Date: 25/11/16

Shelf Life: 9 month

Packaging: Foil Pack


Cornitos Peri Peri Nacho Crisps

Gluten free crispy tortilla chips, available in 10 flavours, including Peri Peri, Sizzlin Jalapeno, Wasabi, Mexicana Tomato, etc. Made from stone ground Non-GMO corn.

Manufacturer: RTC FOODS (distributor in Australia)

Ingredients:  Corn (70%); Corn Oil; Iodized Salt; Spices & Herbs (Chilli (12%), Black Pepper, Red Bell Pepper, Oregano); Corn Starch; Sugar; Lime Juice Powder; Garlic Powder; Soya Sauce Powder; Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid-INS 330).

Contains Added Flavours – Natural & Nature Identical Flavouring Substances (Vinegar)

Shelf Life: 12 months

Packaging: 50g Tins, 60g & 150g bags

Product Manager: Scott Porter

Country of origin: India



New ‘Vege Crisps’ unveiled

The Vege Chip Company has introduced a new range of Super Food Crisps to its Deli Crisp Range, aimed specifically at adults wanting a healthier, gourmet tasting snack.

With more than 1 in 100 Australians suffering from a gluten intolerance, the Vege Chip Company is delivering consumers an all-natural, gluten free chip alternative that are genuinely healthier and are free from nuts, egg, soy, petrochemicals, MSG, flavour enhancer and artificial colours preservatives. 

The new Super Food Crisp flavours include Vege Deli Chia Crisps: chia, galangal (ginger), red chilli and green shallot Vege Deli Turmeric & Cheese Crisps: turmeric powder and cheese Vege Deli Lentil Crisps: lentil and potato blend.

“The Vege Chip Company is more than just a snack business that creates healthy and innovative products, it’s also a way of life for the team. It’s about incorporating our passion for health and wellness into our work, and educating consumers about what they’re putting into their bodies and encouraging them to make the right choices for their families and for themselves with a balanced diet,” said Managing Director of the Vege Chip Company, Rob Crisfield.

ACCC slugs Arnott’s $51,000 for ‘misleading’ fat claims

Arnott’s has paid penalties totalling $51,000 following the issue of five infringement notices by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission relating to representations made by Arnott’s about its Shapes Light & Crispy product.  Arnott’s also provided a court enforceable undertaking to the ACCC.

The ACCC said that Arnott’s represented on the packs of four varieties of Shapes Light & Crispy and a multipack between October 2014 and July 2015 that Shapes Light & Crispy contained “75% less saturated fat” than Arnott’s’ original Shapes biscuits, when in fact it contained approximately 60 per cent less saturated fat than original Shapes.

In making the “75% less saturated fat” representation, the ACCC noted that Arnott’s was actually comparing its Shapes Light & Crispy product not to original Shapes but to potato chips cooked in 100% palm oil. This was included in a fine print disclaimer at the bottom of the packs. However, even if potato chips had been an appropriate comparison for the saturated fat content of Shapes Light & Crispy, the ACCC notes that since only around 20 per cent of potato chips sold in Australia are cooked in palm oil, the representation may still have been misleading.

“Consumers should be able to trust the claims that businesses make to sell their products. Small print disclaimers cannot correct false or misleading representations which are made in a prominent way in advertising or on packaging,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“Businesses must ensure that any comparison claims they make are accurate and based on meaningful comparisons for consumers. This is particularly the case regarding claims that involve healthier eating.”

“Truth in advertising, particularly where misleading claims are made by large businesses, is a priority enforcement area for the ACCC,” Mr Sims said.

The ACCC issued the infringement notices to Arnott’s because it had reasonable grounds to believe that Arnott’s made a false or misleading representation about the composition of Shapes Light & Crispy, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

Arnott’s has provided a court enforceable undertaking to the ACCC that it will not engage in similar conduct for a period of three years. It will also publish a corrective notice on its website and in the nationally published Foodmagazine.

Majans InfuZions

Product NameMajans InfuZions

Product Manufacturer: Majans Pty Ltd

Launch date12th October, 2015

Ingredients (as listed on the packaging)

Thai Sweet Chilli Flavoured Potato Mix

Potato Mix [Potato (58%), Wheat, Salt, Sugar, Paprika, Turmeric], Sunflower and or Canola Oil, Seasoning [Sugar, Acidity Regulator (262), Yeast Extract, Spices, Flavour, Salt, Maize Starch, Anti-Caking Agent (551), Vegetable Oil].

BBQ Rib Flavoured Prawn Crackers
Prawn Cracker [Tapioca, Wheat, Sugar, Salt, MSG, Oleo Paprika], Sunflower and or Canola Oil, Seasoning [Sugar, Dextrose, Salt, Natural Flavour, Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein, Yeast Extract, Smoked Salt, Cocoa Powder, Vegetable Powder, Spice, Vegetable Oil, Anti-Caking Agent (551), Flavour Enhancer (635)].

Sour Cream & Herb Flavoured Veggie Straws
Veggie Straws [(Vegetable – 71%) Potato, Spinach Powder, Tomato Powder, Beetroot Powder, Salt, Beta Carotene], Sunflower and or Canola Oil, Seasoning [Milk Solids, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Vegetable Powder, Salt, Yeast Extract, Cheese Powder, Flavour, Sour Cream Powder, Herb, Acidity Regulators (330, 270, 327), Anti-Caking Agent (551), Vegetable Oil].

Shelf Life: 180 Days/ 6 Months

Packaging: BOPP laminate (BO Polypropylene)

Country of originAustralia

Brand Website

Describe the productWith less than 100 calories per recommended serving size, the InfuZions range has been developed in response to rising consumer demand for premium quality snacks that are light, tasty and contain no artificial colours or flavours.

The range is launching exclusively at Woolworths in three exciting product and flavour combinations:

BBQ Rib Flavoured Prawn Crackers
Thai Sweet Chilli Flavoured Potato Mix
Sour Cream & Herb Flavoured Veggie Straws

The InfuZions brand has been developed as a collaborative effort between Motor Brand Design and Majans. Dark, moody background colours position the products clearly in the adult indulgence space while bright and vibrant variant colours and ingredient cameos give strong appetite appeal.

Contact Email:

Red Rock Deli launches new range of Sweet Potato Crisps

Red Rock Deli, has released a new range of Sweet Potato Crisps. The new product joins Red Rock Deli’s existing range of Potato Crisps and Red Rock Deli Style Dips.

The new Red Rock Deli Sweet Potato Crisps are prepared using only the finest quality Australian sweet potatoes, according to the company.

Three flavour combinations are available – Roast Garlic, Rosemary & Thyme, Green Chilli & Coriander and Sea Salt.

“The success of Red Rock Deli has been built on providing unique tastes and textures with flavour combinations that capture our consumers’ imaginations. Our new Sweet Potato Crisps continue the brand’s journey of innovation and taste discovery,” said Robyn Quinn, Marketing Director, Red Rock Deli.

The company said that Red Rock Deli Sweet Potato Crisps are cooked in 100 per cent sunflower oil, and have no artificial flavours, preservatives or added MSG.

Tortilla chip manufacturer doubles production thanks to automation

Based in the United States, flour tortilla chip manufacturer, Donkey Brands, has doubled production volumes by installing a new production line from specialist food processing equipment provider, FOODesign, a tna company. The investment enables Donkey Brands to meet increased demand and boost growth by replacing an out-of-date manual process with an efficient automated system.

In a bid to optimise its production process, Donkey Brands chose to integrate FOODesign’s immerso-cook direct-fired continuous frying system to complement its pre-existing FOODesign cutting, conveying and quik-coat seasoning systems. 

The company now boasts a faster processing line while maintaining its long-standing levels of high product quality. 

Customised frying solutions
As a growing manufacturer and snack brand, Donkey Brands was looking to increase production levels with a frying system that optimised colour, texture and flavour. To protect their brand legacy for great tasting tortilla chips, Donkey Brands was confident that FOODesign’s immerso-cook direct-fired continuous frying system was the right choice. 

The FOODesign immerso-cook features innovations like a state-of-the-art belt feed system. Customisable for a wide range of products including tortilla chips, this feature minimises the risk of product breakage while optimising throughput speeds. While breakage is minimised, any unpreventable waste that can result from delicate snack applications like tortilla chips, is continuously discharged from the fryer by the system’s based mounted mesh conveyor. This ensures the product quality is not compromised. 

Through its innovative continuous oil filtration process, FOODesign’s immerso-cook keeps oil clean with particulate removal and a fresh oil infeed system. This prevents oil from overheating and prevents harmful fatty acids and free radicals from forming, which contaminate oil and compromise the quality of the product. Increased capacity from the immerso-cook, along with its advanced oil-filtration system, means Donkey Brands can produce more tortilla chips with significantly less downtime from changing oil.   

“With demand growing for quantity and quality, we needed a flexible frying system to build on our capabilities and enhance production capacity,” comments Robert Tisljar, partner at Donkey Brands. “Our previous line was predominantly manual and included a smaller fryer, as well as more conventional conveying systems. Looking for the best way to step into the world of automation, we saw the answer in FOODesign. The aim, quite simply, was to increase production output while at the same time improving the overall quality of our products.”  

Also commenting on the installation, Tim Reardon, group solutions manager – processing for the Americas, said: “Our immerso-cook range offers a heavy duty, highly efficient system that can be customised for a wide variety of applications and processing requirements. Together with our service-led approach, maintenance support and engineering knowledge, we were able to supply Donkey Brands with a reliable and high performance system that meets their exact specification – and we’re confident will continue to do so for many years to come.”

Consistent flavour coverage
Seasoning is vital to a product’s overall taste, texture and appeal. With a strong desire to maintain quality in flavour and provide consistent coverage, Donkey Brands installed FOODesign’s quik-coat seasoning drum to ensure uniform coating on every single tortilla chip produced. Because each type of snack product has its own set of attributes, unique product structure, surface and topography, the FOODesign quik-coat was designed with flexibility in mind and was a perfect fit for the Donkey Brands range of products. 

FOODesign’s quik-coat system effectively seasons uneven surfaces and gently tumbles the product, evenly dispersing the right amount of seasoning so that all Donkey Brand tortilla chips have a consistent appearance and taste. As a manufacturer of tortilla chips, it was fundamental that the new seasoning system would be able to handle coating irregular shaped products consistently and with ease. 

Where there’s a need to season products, there’s a need to keep equipment clean. With Donkey Brands’ goal to increase productivity, along with their high standards of hygiene, they needed an easy-to-clean solution that also minimised downtime.  As part of the FOODesign quik-coat installation, casters were adjoined to the system that can be pulled away from the production line – simplifying and accelerating the cleaning process. 

“As a food manufacturer, consistent flavour profiles are naturally a top priority,” comments Tisljar. “Without consistent quality in product flavour, consumers would lose trust in our brand. Fully equipped with FOODesign’s expertise, we were able to find the right system to allow for great taste and optimum coverage every time, while maintaining global hygiene standards.” 

Onwards and upwards
“Now that the new system is up and running, we are experiencing double the production volumes, consistent seasoning application, reduced product breakage and virtually no downtime,” Tilsljar adds. “The whole project ran extremely smoothly and we were especially impressed with FOODesign’s exceptional level of service and flexibility in system design. Immediately, we could see the benefits of their cutting-edge manufacturing solutions which delivered the speed, performance and accuracy we were looking for, while still producing the quality tortilla chips Donkey Brands customers have come to expect.”

Reardon comments: “We are delighted to partner with Donkey Brands to help develop a modern, automated system for their tortilla line. Our technical expertise and industry know-how equips us with the ability to create and supply innovative products to our customers worldwide, offering start-to-finish solutions for the entire production line.”

Seaweed: the next big opportunity in snacking?

Seaweed is a rare example of an opportunity to get in at Day One of a new growth market for snacks, predicts New Nutrition Business, with sales of seaweed snacks in the US already overtaking those of kale. 

“Launches of seaweed snack products are proliferating and sales outstrip those of kale, the trendy green vegetable that has benefited from a huge degree of hype since 2010 and has been embraced by young health-conscious urban consumers,” says Julian Mellentin, director of New Nutrition Business, which outlines five steps to creating a successful seaweed snack in a new report1. “Seaweed’s transition from the food fringes to mainstream will be propelled by snack products ,” he adds.

In the US, retail sales of seaweed snacks were valued at over $USD250 million in 2014, a year when market growth was around 30 per cent, and the last two years has seen a surge in launches of snack products with seaweed. 

Long a favorite of health-conscious consumers on the food fringes, seaweed’s “naturally functional” advantages – it’s a low-calorie source of protein and fiber, richer in trace minerals and vitamins than kale, and it ticks a number of free-from boxes – are winning it wider attention.

“Seaweed is a naturally-healthy plant-based ingredient, with a range of natural nutritional advantages and impeccable sustainability credentials,” says Mellentin. “These features are gaining it growing media coverage, and the attention of health-conscious consumers who are looking for an interesting new snack.”

In response to this growing consumer interest, snack brands have started to include seaweed in existing products, such as seaweed-flavoured rice chips, and there are also totally new brands that use a variety of seaweed types in inventive formats.

The new report sets out five steps to best position, market, price and distribute seaweed snacks in the US and Europe. The report provides practical insights for companies large or small aiming to create a successful seaweed snack brand. Snapshots of key brands provide real-world examples of products, marketing and communications for seaweed snacks.


Smith’s Chips factory in WA to close

Smith’s Snackfood Company will shut its Smith’s Chips factory in Canning Vale next year and, as a result, 300 workers will lose their jobs.

The West Australian reports that the company told workers the news at a meeting yesterday at 8am.

The job losses, which will be staggered until the factory closes for good late next year, will come from a range of roles including factory and administrative roles.

“Following a strategic review of its manufacturing operations across Australia, The Smith’s Snackfood Company has announced its intention to close its manufacturing facility at Canning Vale in Western Australia,” a Smith’s spokeswoman said in a statement.

 “This difficult decision was made with careful consideration, and The Smiths Snackfood Company will provide outplacement services and redundancy support to affected employees.”

The closure will not affect the company’s operations in the Eastern states.

The closure will also affect the Western Australian potato growers who currently supply the Canning Vale factory with about 12,000 tonnes of potatoes per year.

One such grower, Gary Bendotti of Bendotti Exporters told the ABC he had been supplying Smith’s for decades and the closure will hit his company hard.

Another grower, Manjimup Shire president Wade DeCampo told the ABC, "Smith's has been going through an Australia-wide review and Smith's is owned by Pepsico, which as we all know is a multinational in America and they take no prisoners unfortunately, and today we are being cut loose."

McDonald’s feels the pinch, but fast food is fighting fit

Fast food giant McDonald’s has been under a cloud in recent years as its US customers turn to alternatives. In this “Fast food reinvented” series we explore what the sector is doing to keep customers hooked and sales rising.

McDonald’s, the epitome of fast food, has been suffering a decline in global sales for the past few years. Globally, McDonald’s revenues in the first half of 2015 fell by 10% to US$12.5 billion and net income dropped by 22% to US$2 billion.

In May this year, worldwide sales dropped by 0.3%, with the greatest decline of 3.2% occurring in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, most certainly resulting from the food safety scandal in 2014.

Given the declines being seen at McDonald’s, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that junk food and takeaway is “out” while healthy foods are “in”. Consumers in many markets now accept fast food is unhealthy, a view consistently echoed by the scientific community. There’s no shortage of evidence: fast food is rich in fats and salt, and normally accompanied by beverages high in sugar.

A recent Mintel report on attitudes towards healthy eating in the UK finds that “being overweight is the most prevalent of health concerns among Britons”. So, increasingly, the healthiness of food is playing a large role in food decisions. For example, the same study found that the healthiness of food is the second-most-important consideration for food choice, with taste being number one.

A blip rather than a serious decline

The consumption of fast food and takeaway may be slowing down in some Western economies, but that’s not the case globally.

Combining data from various sources, including the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Economic Research Service, QSR Magazine, Economist Intelligence Unit, Mintel and company results, it’s possible to get a greater understanding of general trends.

In the US, spending on fast food and takeway per capita is projected to go from A$782.40 in 2015 to A$779.80 in 2018. A similar stabilising trend is forecast in the UK, with per capita spending expected to increase from $A228.40 in 2015 to $A232.40 in 2018. In Australia, spending per capita is predicted to fall from $A645.60 to $A620.40.

Retail market spend per capita on fast food and takeaway




However, this pattern is perhaps compensated by growth in Asia, South America and Eastern Europe. For example, per capita spending in China is predicted to rise from A$151.86 in 2015 to A$181.67 in 2018. In Brazil, per capita spending is estimated to increase from A$135.90 in 2015 to A$149.50 in 2018. In Russia, per capita spending on fast food and takeaway is expected to go up from A$55.61 in 2015 to A$76.96 in 2018.

Moreover, McDonald’s competitors, such as Burger King, Dominos, KFC etc, have turned around their fortunes, and the future of the fast food and takeaway industry looks even brighter. Burger King reported a rise in sales of 7.9% in the US and Canada during the second quarter of 2015. Although KFC and Pizza Hut (both owned by Yum! Brands) suffered declining sales in China, both have seen sales growth in UK markets.

In New Zealand, KFC reported a 9.7% annual sales rise in April. It also plans to open 150 new restaurants in Russia after recording 48% growth in sales for the first quarter of 2015. Pizza Hut almost doubled its annual profits in 2014 and is expecting to open several new outlets in the coming years.

Next stop, developing markets

People are becoming more health conscious and are more informed about the benefits of healthy eating. Educational programs are being introduced in schools to teach children about the different food groups and inculcate healthy eating habits. Governments have also taken measures to limit the consumption of junk food, implementing tighter regulations targeted towards curbing advertising to children.

These steps are taking place in both the developed world and in countries such as India, where the growth of fast food and takeaway is projected to grow. The Delhi High Court in India has decreed that junk food – or food high in fat, sugar and salt – must be restricted in schools and within a 50-metre radius around schools. New rules and regulations are also being put in place to restrict film stars and cricket icons (the aspirational group of the Indian middle class) from advertising junk foods.

All these factors will hopefully limit the consumption of unhealthy food and trim the waistlines of citizens across their nations. But the fast food and takeaway industry is also well poised to respond to these changes. For example, McDonald’s recently introduced the “Create Your Taste” campaign allowing consumers to customise their burgers.

Burger King is replacing sodas with fat-free milk, low-fat chocolate milk and apple juice in the beverage options on its children’s menu. And fast food companies such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and Dunkin Donuts are also planning to trial home-delivery options, making their product more accessible to the public.

Ultimately, suggestions of the demise of fast food are likely to be greatly exaggerated.

The Conversation

Anish Nagpal, Senior Lecturer, Management and Marketing, University of Melbourne and Kristijan Causovski, Research Assistant, University of Melbourne

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Tyrells Crisps buyout of Yarra Valley Snack Foods is a crafty move

UK premium snack brand Tyrrells Crisps has just acquired the Melbourne-based Yarra Valley Snack Foods in a move that will facilitate any attempts by the company to establish a manufacturing base in Australia.

In 2014, Lay’s (37%), Red Rock Deli (16%) and Kettle (15%) were the Top 3 players in chips in Australia, according to Euromonitor data.

Tyrrells, one of the largest producers of premium chips/crisps, reached an exclusive supply agreement with Coles and launched in Australia in 2014, so the company is not entirely new to the Australian market.

The chips/crisps category is worth over A$652 million, and represents 35% of the total value of the sweet and savoury snacks category, up from 31% five years ago despite the many advances in other (and healthier) snacking types.

The crisps/chips category has experienced 12% value growth during 2009-14, or 2% compound annual growth. In actual terms, its value growth for the period was only surpassed by extruded snacks, which are processed / reconstituted / shaped potato or cereal based snacks, such as rice cracker snacks, Pringles and Cheetos.

Tyrrells Hand Cooked English Crisps is perhaps the most well-known brand in Europe but there are many more out there, increasingly emphasising their hand-cooked potatoes and the place of origin the salt or vinegar is sourced from (eg Anglesey Sea Salt). Recently, PepsiCo has expanded into gourmet snacks through the launch of Market Deli – premium priced thick-cut crisps made from selected potato varieties bearing no sign of the company logo on the pack bar a small statement reading “from the Makers of Walkers”.

So is this emerging craft movement a fad or likely to be the next big thing in savoury snacks?

Tyrrells has grown at a 15% CAGR over 2009-2014 in the UK significantly outpacing the overall crisps’ CAGR of 5%. In Australia, Red Rock Deli from PepsiCo has outperformed the company’s flagship brand Lay’s over 2009-2014 in CAGR terms (5% vs 1%), though over the last two years sales have been falling.

The rapidly expanding craft beer movement is starting to exert an influence on the development of gourmet snacks, which are typically consumed with beer.

Borrowing from the craft beer market, crisps are becoming more sophisticated, with premium ingredients that emphasise heritage and provinciality.

Particularly in the US and the UK but also in Mexico and Russia, a growing number of beer companies are craft-branding their current line or coming up with new craft lines by acquiring small-batch brewers.

The definition of craft beer remains debated, but regardless, they are tapping in the same trend drivers. Some of the most recent examples include Immortal IPA from Elysian Brewing in the US which was acquired by A-B InBev earlier this year and Guinness Dublin Porter from Diageo which capitalises on Dublin’s brewing heritage in order to impart a sense of tradition and authenticity.  This has an obvious impact on retail sales.

Over 2009-2014, dark beer and premium lager, where craft beer is typically found, have outperformed beer overall globally, and particularly so in Latin America, North America and Australasia.  In Western Europe, growth in dark beer was undermined due to a strong decline in mass-market brands, which dominate the category.

The craft movement in beer has in turn facilitated a similar movement in crisps, particularly in the UK, where on-trade establishments have been switching from serving mainstream brands like Carlsberg beer and Walkers crisps to serving small-batch products like Brooklyn Lager with Tyrrells.