NPD driving popcorn sales increase Kerem Yucel Kerem Yucel

Total UK popcorn value sales have increased by 13.6% year on year to over £120m of sales, despite the total snacks category struggling, according to IRI, a leading provider of FMCG market intelligence.

According to IRI’s recent New Product Development (NPD) study the total grocery market saw 13% fewer new branded items launched in 2015 compared with 2013. The proportion of the total food market generated by NPD is 1.7%. However, the NPD value contribution in the popcorn category is 2.7% – well ahead of most food categories.

IRI experts believe that investment in new product development (NPD) has contributed significantly to popcorn’s growth. Tim Eales, director strategic insight at IRI, said: “Shoppers are increasingly concerned with healthiness, a trend we are seeing across FMCG categories. Popcorn is low in calories and full of protein, and therefore fulfills demand for a healthy snack alternative to crisps. We are also seeing growth in nut spreads, nuts and peanut butter. Protein snacks are being launched as well.”

The biggest risers in popcorn brands include Metcalfe’s, which has seen an increase of 26% year on year value sales to just under £13.5m, and Propercorn increasing 24.1% to £11.7m. Butterkist, the biggest player in the popcorn category saw slightly slower growth in value sales of 8.1%.