There has been a growing trend towards health and wellbeing for some time now in the convenience channel, with consumers increasingly looking for a greater number of snacking choices.

Savoury snacking continues to form an important part of consumers’ everyday lives, and the category is performing strongly. Crisps (31.3%) and snacks (64.3%) are the most critical and largest absolute contributors to the salty segment’s value sales (£) compared to smaller segments like nuts (3.7%), ready-to-eat popcorn (3.7%) and better for you (2%)1.

Over the last four years, the ‘salty snacks’ subsector has grown ahead of total savoury snacking at +5.8%2. This illustrates that the category is well-positioned to adapt to the changing consumer landscape.

Within savoury snacking, consumer research shows that enjoyment and health are currently both primary needs present across all occasions3, and therefore there is a balance to be struck – particularly as taste is the number one driver of choice when buying crisps and snacks4.

While the majority of retailers in this channel are currently unaffected, as elements of the HFSS regulations have recently been implemented, this presents an exciting opportunity for retailers to assess and grow their savoury snacking sales.

HFSS Guide

Kirsten Reid, impulse category management channel lead at PepsiCo, says Walkers’ focus is on helping retailers to navigate the HFSS regulations and ensure they are fully equipped to maximise their savoury snacking sales in-store. “With location HFSS regulations now in force, we are continuing to invest in our customer-facing teams, providing them with in-depth training, so they are well-equipped to offer tailored assistance to help retailers grow snacking sales.

We have also applied clear labelling to our product cases so retailers know whether a product is non-HFSS, and where they can display it in-store.”

Earlier this year, Walkers also launched a new digital HFSS guide. The guide is intended to help retailers understand whether they are likely to be impacted and to consider what action they might take for their stores while maximising their savoury snacking sales.

The guide, which also comes in a mobile-friendly version, includes snacking growth strategies, dos and don’ts and handy visuals.


1. Continue to drive availability and space of best-selling products (HFSS) in the main fixture.

2. Make the most of your off-fixture displays in high-traffic areas around the store to help drive impulse purchases: focus on HFSS bestsellers in non-impacted stores and in impacted stores replace HFSS with non-HFSS crisps and snacks.

3. Supplement the above with reformulated or new non-HFSS products from well-known and trusted brands such as Walkers and Doritos that deliver on taste and health needs.

4. Focus efforts on the largest segments of the Savoury Snacks Category to maximise sales – crisps still represent the biggest driver of category sales, compared to smaller segments like nuts, popcorn and vegetable crisps14.

Offering the right mix

With shopper missions continuing to evolve, retailers must follow the needs of their shoppers and merchandise their ranges accordingly.

The majority of space in main fixtures should be dedicated to best-selling core ranges, with 90% of crisps, snacks & nuts (CSN) space in symbols and indies located in the main fixture5. Retailers should also consider continuing to rationalise low rate of sale products or those that are a duplication and replace them with additional facings to core best-sellers or taste-led non-HFSS innovation.

To help retailers offer a greater range of non-HFSS products, earlier this year Walkers announced its ambition to commit to half of Walkers snacks sales coming from products that do not classify as HFSS or from products sold in portions of 100 calories or less by 2025.

“We’ve already launched a number of successful new products and reformulations this year, which is a testament to our continued efforts to producing great-tasting snacks that offer consumers greater snacking choices,” says Reid.

“We will continue to offer a balanced portfolio of crisps and snacks that deliver on taste, retaining focus on our much loved and best-selling product ranges such as Walkers, Walkers MAX, Quavers, Cheetos, Wotsits and Doritos,” says Reid. “For example, four of the top five non-PMP (price marked pack) RRP sharing SKUs in the channel are part of the Walkers range, and include: Doritos Chilli Heatwave, Doritos Tangy Cheese and Wotsits Giants Cheese[6], so stocking up on these well-loved brands can help retailers to maximise their sales.

“Our advice is for retailers to stock their best-selling crisps and snacks while starting to gradually introduce new products that offer greater choice without any compromise to taste,” continues Reid. “To help retailers with this gradual expansion of non-HFSS products, we have introduced several taste-led non-HFSS lines across some of the category’s biggest and most loved brands, which we believe will help to drive significant sales in this channel that will be competitive and will become part of our future best sellers.”

PepsiCo’s non-HFSS snacks

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1 ACNielsen MAT 29.10.2022
2 ACNielsen MAT 27.08.2022
3 PepsiCo Consumer Landscape study 2021 (Bolt) – All Snacking UK
4  PepsiCo Convenience Path to Purchase study 2020 – All Snacking UK
5 PepsiCo internal (Trax for 2000 stores P6-8 2022)
6 Nielsen, Total Impulse Latest 12 weeks Value Sales 27/8/2022 PMP Sharing SKU’s : Doritos Chilli Heatwave (rank 2nd), Doritos Tangy Cheese (rank 3rd), Doritos Cool Original (rank 4th), Wotsits Giants Cheese (rank 5th)
7 Kantar Worldpanel Take home purchase data l 52 w/e 4th September 2022 l Total Walkers Baked
8 **vs. Average salt value of regular potato crisps
9 (Walkers Simply Mild Cheese & Onion PCI 2119408 – SCPI Consumer Report – Product Decision Test, June 2021 (n=200). Consumer testing SCI consumer report with 200 consumers.
10 PepsiCo Convenience Path to Purchase study 2021 – All Snacking UK
11 PepsiCo Consumer Landscape study 2021 (Bolt) – All Snacking UK
12 Vs. standard Doritos 180g range in UK & standard Doritos 150g in ROI
13 Depending on product from within the PopWorks range.
14 Nielsen Data – Symbols & Indies £sales L12 July 22