A new report by The Snack, Nut and Crisp Manufacturers Association (SNACMA), estimates the total value of the UK’s savoury snack industry for the coming year at £3.2 billion, a significant increase on last year’s figure of £2.5 billion.
The report indicates that there are now more than 170 different businesses operating within the UK snacks sector, 75 per cent of which are located outside London and the South East, with the sector being a major employer in both the East Midlands and the North East of England.
In 2019, the UK crisps and savoury snacks market was estimated at £2,581 million. For the same period nuts were valued at £319 million, popcorn at £127 million and baked snacks at £195 million.
With more than 95 per cent of all potato crisps being made from home grown potatoes, it is claimed that the snack sector is a major supporter of farming jobs. In 2018/2019 SNACMA members purchased some 575,000 tonnes of fresh potatoes, equivalent to 12,800 hectares worth, or 10 per cent of UK’s total potato production.
The authors of the report say this is a significant amount and manufacturers who process potatoes are becoming more and more important to UK farmers as a long term decline in sales of fresh potatoes is observed.
In 2018 UK snack producers exported more than £145 million worth of products, representing five per cent year-on-year growth, with most UK crisps consumed as multi-packs.
“The UK savoury snacks industry is a real success story,” the authors of the report say. “We are driven by talented and bright people that not only embrace our sector’s heritage, but also, through their specialist knowledge and skills, are able to drive innovation and quality, and continue to build upon the industry’s existing world class reputation.”