In the United Kingdom, crisps are more than a snack – they’re a national institution.
Whether it’s enjoying a packet with your favourite sandwich (meal deal anyone?) or grabbing a bag for movie night, the crisp aisle in your local supermarket is a battleground for brands. Successfully branding crisps in the UK takes more than just a delicious flavour, so let’s explore what it takes to make your potatoey treat stand out.
Way back in the day, when Queen Victoria was on the throne, a bloke named George Crum over in the States got miffed when a customer complained his fries were too soggy. So, George sliced them paper-thin, fried ’em up, and BOOM – the potato chip was born. We decided that they were better off being called crisps, and they’ve been a British snacktime staple ever since. One of the keys to branding crisps in the UK is honouring tradition. Iconic brands like Walkers, McCoy’s, and Tyrell’s have successfully tapped into the nostalgia factor. They offer classic flavours like salt and vinegar, cheese and onion, and ready-salted, each one an iconic slice of British culinary culture.
While tradition is crucial, innovation keeps the market exciting.
Brands are constantly pushing the envelope with new and unusual flavours, catering to a more adventurous palate. Crisp flavours like Thai sweet chilli, pulled pork, and wasabi are prime examples of this trend. These more exotic options appeal to a younger and more diverse demographic. Many brands are also diversifying their offerings with healthier alternatives, like baked or popped crisps. This reflects the changing preferences of health-conscious consumers while retaining the essence of the beloved snack.
Successful crisp brands in the UK understand the power of branding. A memorable logo, a catchy tagline, and effective advertising campaigns are crucial to establishing a recognisable crisp brand. For example, Walkers’ instantly recognisable blue and red logo and the slogan “Do Us a Flavor” have become synonymous with quality and choice.
Advertising campaigns, often featuring celebrities or humorous sketches, help forge a personal connection with the audience. Whether it’s football favourite Gary Lineker or comedian Peter Kay, familiar faces add authenticity to the brand and strengthen customer loyalty.
Crisp packaging is perhaps the most important canvas for brand identity. Bold, eye-catching designs are needed to stand out on crowded shelves. Traditional brands often rely on classic colours, while newer and innovative brands use vibrant, modern designs to make a statement.
In recent years, sustainable packaging has also taken centre stage. Brands are focusing on reducing plastic waste and promoting eco-friendly materials, signalling a commitment to environmental responsibility. Such practices align with the growing consumer interest in sustainability.
And it’s not all about the big boys. In the era of globalisation, there’s a growing appreciation for local and artisanal products. Many smaller, independent crisp producers have embraced this trend. These brands are often associated with handcrafted, high-quality, and locally sourced ingredients, appealing to consumers who prefer a more authentic and personalised snacking experience.
More than just flavour
Crisp brands are increasingly acknowledging dietary preferences and restrictions with their latest offerings. This includes offering gluten-free, vegan, and low-sodium options. Addressing these considerations helps brands tap into a broader market, catering to the needs of a diverse and nutritionally-aware customer base.
Crisp branding is a dynamic and evolving industry. Success hinges on a delicate balance between tradition and innovation, appealing to diverse tastes, and staying responsive to customer preferences. It’s not just about the flavour inside the bag; it’s the entire package, from design to values, that makes a crisp brand memorable and beloved in the UK market and convinces shoppers to take a punt on something new.
We can help
Are you bringing something crispy and delicious to market and need a helping hand? Toast Food would love to be the dip to your chips and share our crisp branding expertise. Get in touch today.