– Meat snacking has grown by a whopping 38% since 2020[1], making it the fastest-growing food and drink category in the UK

– Future growth predicted to come from recruiting an additional 4.4million households to the category

The meat snacking category is set to be worth £454m by 2027, astounding growth of 49%. This is the headline stat in new analysis of the category from Pilgrim’s Food Masters, owner of leading brands Richmond and Fridge Raiders.

Meat snacking has become a category in its own right in the last few years as shoppers increasingly look for healthy, sustaining snacks. It has grown by an incredible 38%[2] over the past two years, making it the fastest-growing food and drink category in the UK[3]. This is evidenced by snacking giant, Fridge Raiders, seeing value sales up 14.1% in 2022. The brand, instrumental in driving sustained growth for retailers, now has 32.7% share of the overall category[4].

While shopper penetration has increased, it’s clear there’s still space for future growth; indeed only a third (35.4%) of shoppers have purchased a meat snack in the past year. In addition, sales to date have been driven predominantly by new shoppers discovering and buying into the category. Pilgrim’s Food Masters predicts that the category can attract an additional 4.4million households over the next five years, growing penetration to 53.8% – a figure that’s aligned to other chilled snacking categories, such as dairy.

This confidence comes from looking at the opportunity within snacking more broadly. UK shoppers spend more than £21bn a year on snacks[5]. In fact, 28% of all consumer food and drink occasions in the UK are now snacks. Yet when we look at what’s driving these purchases, 51% of consumers are looking for snack options that can be eaten on the go and a further 45% claim to-go snacks must be satisfying[6]. Meat-based options fulfil both of these needs, yet two thirds of UK households aren’t yet snacking on meat[7].

Instrumental to unlocking these new shoppers will be a focus on product availability. Ensuring the right product hits the right stores will not only maximise the opportunity when shoppers are hunting for a snack but will also help drive wider category awareness and visibility. Innovation will also play a huge part in this growth. With continued investment in NPD, brands are able to create category excitement, and introduce products that appeal to wider demographics, lifestyles and occasions.

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen a huge boom in snacking overall but meat snacking has carved itself out a niche and, thanks to explosive growth, become a category in its own right,” says Conor Lowry, Category Controller at Pilgrim’s Food Masters. “Our figures show there is still lots of headroom for growth and we’re committed to developing the space, as evidenced by Fridge Raiders’ continued expansion into new formats and debuting our popular Richmond sausages in a ready-to-eat snacking format. Catering to different times of day and occasions will be crucial to bringing new shoppers into the category and boosting basket spend for retailers.”

Pilgrim’s Food Masters’ brands have been instrumental in the growth of meat snacking to date, with regular launches aimed at evolving the category and catering to changing shopper habits.

Fridge Raiders, long known for its snacking expertise, has expanded into new formats which target different occasions and times of day. Its multipacks cater to lunchtime, while the larger grazing tub is perfect for snacking at home in the evening. Elsewhere, the business debuted in cocktail sausages for the first time, with the launch of Richmond Minis. Both brands offer variety in meat-snacking which is especially important for retailers looking to capitalise on the rise in shoppers looking for to-go snacks and tasty choices within meal deals.

[1] IRI to 12.06.22 and Kantar WPO to 10.07.22

[2] IRI to 12.06.22 and Kantar WPO to 10.07.22

[3] Kantar Category Gold to 02.10.22

4 IRI to 30.10.22

[5] IRI to 12.06.22 and Kantar WPO to 10.07.22

[6] IRI to 12.02.22 and Kantar WPO to 10.04.22

[7] IRI to 12.06.22 and Kantar WPO to 10.07.22

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