rsz_3_grab_bags_editedNew Zealand Kettle Korn Directors Michael Howe and Trent Brock are still surprised at the growth popped popcorn has experienced in the last three years. During this time, New Zealand Kettle Korn has cemented its position as the number two, value-ranked, popcorn manufacturer and as a favourite of many Kiwi households.

Howe and Brock recognised early on that there was a gap in the market for gourmet, batch-made popcorn and the proof is in the numbers. Aztec Data shows New Zealand Kettle Korn continues to experience strong double digit growth ahead of the overall category in both value and units year on year. “The data backs up what we knew all along, consumer choice is trending to healthier, gourmet snacking options,” says Brock.

rsz_all_blacks_multipack_renderingExcitingly, New Zealand Kettle Korn has also partnered with Eat My Lunch (EML). The EML concept is simple – for every lunch someone buys, they give another to a child in need. As an official partner New Zealand Kettle Korn has just launched an EML supporters’ bag and donated $20,000 to expand the programme. “We are thrilled to be in a position to help this amazing organisation,” says Howe.

The latest offering is the all-new grab bag range (RRP $2.00). “We feel this is the right size for the route trade and supermarkets at the check-outs,” explains Brock.

Additionally, as an official licensee of NZ Rugby, New Zealand Kettle Korn will release a new limited edition All Blacks branded multi-pack this summer.

A bright future is ahead for this growing business!

Abe’s Bagel Crisps and Bites

ABE’S Bagel Bakery supply fresh bagels as well as Bagel Crisps and Bites. Among their recent product launches are ABE’S Bagel Bites with Marmite (multipack 8 x 15g).

Marketing Manager Melanie Kyle says: “ABE’S growth is incremental, Marmite has not cannibalised our sales and has helped us gain growth across our other sku’s.”

She adds: “ABE’S Bagel Crisps have combined with the award winning Culley’s Chipotle hot sauce. Baked using real bagel dough, these delicious little morsels are packed full of flavour! Traditional Mexican flavours mixed with smoked jalapeno peppers, charred capsicum, Spanish paprika and a tomato base offer a genuine smokey Chipotle flavour.”

Kyle highlights ‘Brandmance’ as a strong consumer trend – “where two brands hook up to create a unique product by contributing their core ingredient/expertise, such as Lewis Road Creamery and Whittakers Chocolate Milk for example.”

She says: “This has worked well for ABE’S with our Abe’s Bagel Crisp with Marmite, and we have also collaborated with Culley’s to launch a Bagel Crisp with Culley’s Chipotle Sauce. Health is also still a growing trend; new and unusual ingredients; and snacking on the go.”

“We see ABE’S as a healthier snack than many of the options in the snack category. Baked, not fried they are better for you with 60% less fat than a regular potato chip. They’re also free from artificial colours, flavours, cholesterol, MSG, or any other nasties. Crisps are fantastic on a platter for pre-dinner drinks,” says Kyle.

Nielsen data NZ express report snacking 10/1/2016

ABE’S                                + 21.6% volume vs. YA   +19.1% value vs. YA

Total Snack foods           + 8.6% volume vs. YA   +6.4% value vs. YA


Ceres Organics

With snacks now one of their highest growth categories, Ceres Organics continue to innovate in this area as consumers look for healthy snacks that don’t compromise on taste. Increasing concerns for personal health and the well-being of the planet have led to “conscious snacking”- snacks that nourish the body and are produced in harmony with the planet. A key person responsible for these kinds of snack creations at Ceres Organics is Marianne Weber, Product Development Manager, who says current trends are towards plant-based snacks that are nutrient-dense.

“As so many savoury snacks on the market are heavily processed with a lot of artificial additives, we wanted to challenge the category with certified organic snacks that capture current dietary trends – including paleo, raw, gluten-free, vegan,” Weber says. “Judging by the way they are flying off the shelves, I think we’ve achieved this with our most recent innovations – from seaweed snacks and black rice crackers to our Coconut Smiles, and the newest addition – kale chips,” she says.

“Our special dehydration process means these chips retain all the benefits of the fresh kale leaves, and they taste fantastic!” Ceres Organics Kale Chips come in three moreish flavour combinations – Garlicky, Cheesy, and Spicy – all made from simple organic ingredients.

Weber says Ceres Organics’ savoury snack range is proof that you don’t need to put a whole lot of additives into snacks to make them taste great. “There’s no need to add artificial flavourings into food when Mother Nature has given us such amazing flavours to work with!”

Proper Crisps

Proper Snack Foods Ltd supplies Proper Crisps and currently has four variants in the Potato range. Mina Smith (‘Mrs Head Potato’) explains: “The Original Marlborough Sea Salt and Agria potato is our award-winning original product – we added Rosemary and Thyme; Sweet Smoked Paprika; and Apple Cider Vinegar Proper Crisps, as well in our extended root vegetable range. We now have our New Zealand grown Kaipara Kumara, which is available in Marlborough Sea Salt and recently launched our “New” Chipotle and Garlic. Also New Zealand grown Parsnips Proper Crisps, grown in Ohakune and Southland.  We also ‘private label’ our Kaipara Kumara range for NZ‘s first Master Chef Brett McGregor, which is sold exclusively through Progressive’s Countdown stores.

She adds: “We launched our Parsnip, lightly salted with Marlborough Sea Salt, earlier this year and it has been extremely well received by both consumers and chefs across the country.

“This week we shipped our first orders to the stores of the new Kumara – Chipotle and Garlic product, which is mildly spicy with a well-rounded flavour that is not overpowering with a good start, middle and finish flavour. Not only are we proud to offer a medley of the seasonal varieties of kumara all in one bag (always three or more), but our garlic is sourced locally from the Marlborough region as well. We are also re-branding our Agria Potato Crisp – Smoked Paprika as we found during tastings with consumers that they were under the impression it was ‘Hot’ due to the lovely colour of the Spanish paprika. It is now called ‘Sweet Smoked Paprika’ with an identifying emblem stating – Natural BBQ Flavour, making it the only 100% natural BBQ offering in the category.

“Proper Crisps is the fastest growing brand in TKA total Snack Foods +80% Growth in Dollar and Units YOP (AZTEC data 28/08/16),” says Smith.

“We are always busy playing in the kitchen and look to surprise the NZ consumer soon with another exciting ‘Real Food’ offering,” reveals Smith. “We found that consumers are becoming more discerning when reaching for a snack or treat and that it is important to eat real food with as few and first quality ingredients as possible. There was a void in the market for a ‘Real Food’ premium mildly spicy offering. We decided after many trials that Kumara was the perfect match with its natural sweetness that complimented the Chipotle with its mild kick and the richness of the ground garlic giving the consumer a healthy flavourful option. The Kumara as well as the Parsnip also served to offer a greater and tasty offering to the ever growing paleo diet. We also tick many of the allergy and dietary friendly boxes, being gluten-free, vegan and paleo friendly. No GMO and never any MSG added ever!”

Jack Links

“Jack Links as a brand continues to drive the Jerky market – highlighting the continuing consumer trend towards ‘healthier for you’ snacks,” says Andrea Crutchley, Senior Client Manager, DKSH New Zealand Ltd.

She explains: “Jack Links is the No.1 ‘Meat Snack’ in supermarkets and is worth $4.7M, growing at 14% and sits at 75% of the total Jerky category. The overall Jerky category is worth $6.2 M in TKA and is growing at 13.4% (AZTEC scanned sales MAT to 18/09/2016).”

Jack Links is a key innovator in the Jerky segment launching Stick Multipacks for lunch boxes and the popular Chilli Lime 50g Jerky recently. Chilli Lime is very on trend and provides a slight bite with a refreshing lime flavour – perfect for all those summer entertaining occasions.

Peckish Rice Crackers

Andrea Crutchley, Senior Client Manager, DKSH New Zealand Ltd told FMCG Business: “Maintaining its position as market leader and market innovator of Rice Crackers (at 57% $ sales TKA market share MAT to 11/09/2016), Peckish has recently launched Brown Rice Herb & Garlic 100g tray and White Rice Chilli & Lime 100g tray. Both are delivering strong units per store per week (u/s/w) results in Foodstuffs at 26 u/s/w for Brown Rice Herb & Garlic and 23 u/s/w for White Rice Chilli & Lime on average since launch. Brown Rice as a sub-segment has been instrumental in driving strong growth in 2016 at +80.6% $ sales vs YA (TKA MAT to 11/09/2016) showing consumers are actively seeking out better for you snacking options within their overall snacking portfolio.


“Ezipop continues to be a vital player in the popcorn market with the Ezipop Extra Butter 99g being the number two SKU for units per store per week in Foodstuffs,” says Alana Parry, Senior Client Manager, DKSH New Zealand Ltd.

She explains: “The strong performance of Ezipop is evident with the singles range unit sales increasing by 41% versus same period year ago (AOW – 104 weeks – price vs. units to 02/10/2016) as well as all three SKUs featuring in the top 10 total unit sales (AZTEC data – Total Foodstuffs – 13 weeks to 04/10/2016).”

“In late 2015, Ezipop launched the Kettle Corn to the singles range which has contributed over 140,000 units to the Ezipop brand in Foodstuffs (AOW unit sales to 02/10/2016). Ezipop’s vibrant purple packaging portrays a fun and family oriented brand that stands out on shelf,” says Parry.

Maretti Bruschette

Maretti Bruschette – crispy Italian-style bread bites, have launched four new SKUs in New Zealand:

*Maretti Bruschette Roasted Garlic 150g

*Maretti Bruschette Tomato, Olives & Oregano 150g

*Maretti Bruschette Pesto 150g

*Maretti Bruschette Salami Pepperoni 150g

Maretti Bruschette are oven-baked, bite-sized bread snacks that are generously seasoned in a variety of delicious flavours. They can be enjoyed on their own or with toppings such as dips and cheeses.

Mat Hamlin, Marketing Manager – Pavé Brands Ltd explains: “The range launched on 12th September so no scan data is available yet. Store uptake has been very strong in New Worlds, with a lower number of PAK’nSAVE stores on board so far. Initial store sales data shows very high sales off display, with Garlic being the top seller, closely followed by Pesto. A strong digital marketing and sampling campaign started in mid-October to build the brand and stimulate trial.”

He adds: “Consumers are looking for new flavours and snack types, and there is increasing demand for premium snacks at affordable prices. Bread snacks such as Maretti Bruschette are growing in popularity because they’re easy to serve, are a bit more stylish and interesting than chips or crackers, and can be eaten on their own or with toppings. They also tend to be lower in fat than chips, because they are oven-baked, not fried. Total Bread Snacks Value Sales grew by 24.6% in the year to 21st Feb 2016 (Nielsen Scan Data Total Supermarkets MAT Scan Data).”


New Zealand snackfood market leader, Bluebird, has continued to innovate throughout 2016, rolling out a range of initiatives. Sandy Christie, Brand Manager – Bluebird told FMCG Business: “Our portfolio of brands includes Bluebird, Doritos, Copper Kettle and Grain Waves. Earlier in the year we launched Bluebird Duos – two different flavours of potato chips mixed together in one bag. They’re twice the snacking fun and a whole new taste experience!

“Consumer research shows strong appeal for the flavour mix concept. Over 65% of potato chip shoppers ‘like to present new and interesting snacks to make an occasion special’,” says Christie.

She adds: “Consumers are now becoming savvy foodies, curious to try more sophisticated taste experiences with authentic  and more natural ingredients – which is exactly why we are bringing them Copper Kettle Special Reserve and Copper Kettle Kumara Crisps.

“Copper Kettle Special Reserve has surprising layers of flavours delivered by its authentic ingredients, such as Wagyu Beef & Wasabi Cream, Creamy Saffron & Sage and Champagne Vinaigrette and Shallot. Copper Kettle Kumara Crips are crunchy and delicious Kumara Crips, perfectly balanced with natural seasonings, such as Roast Garlic, Rosemary and Thyme.”

Christie says: “To celebrate the beginning of summer, Bluebird have launched the new Flavours of Summer range that captures the marinated goodness we Kiwis love to throw on the barbie for consumers to enjoy on our crunchy original cut chips, such as Honey BBQ Chicken and Sticky Barbecue Ribs. Bluebirds tasty flavours of Duos and initial Flavours of Summer have been very popular and delivered fantastic growth.”

Christie explains: “New and interesting flavours continue to entice consumers within our category as well as the ongoing trend for ‘better for you’ options.”

“Bluebird and the All Blacks also announced a two-year partnership, which has seen New Zealand’s favourite chip maker step from the side lines and get behind our national team. Like the All Blacks, Bluebird is a Kiwi favourite and there’s nothing more Kiwi than cheering on the All Blacks with friends and family and sharing a bowl of Bluebird chips.

“The partnership with the All Blacks has been a fantastic opportunity for us to show our unwavering support and passion for our boys in black,” says Christie.

For more details see

James Crisp

rsz_eta_nuts_jc_rangeJames Crisp Ltd distributes the ‘Graze’ brand in New World and PAK’nSAVE stores, with a range of nine bulk nut and nibble products launched in September 2015.

Melanie Taylor, Marketing Manager – Own Brands says: “We are very proud to say that Graze was the No. 1 new brand in Total Supermarkets MAT to 10.07.16 (Nielsen Data, TKA, T. Category (excl. PL & line extensions), Net Product Contribution ($)).

“We source quality ingredients from leading growers around the world and bring them back to New Zealand where we roast*, blend* and package. We then lock in the freshness with our fresh-lock resealable pouches. In addition to our nine successful existing bulk pack skus, the following new products were launched late September 2016 in New World and PAK’nSAVE stores:

Graze ‘Plus+’ Range

Graze Cranberry Nut Medley + Pistachios & Blueberries 140g

Graze Roasted & Salted Deluxe Nuts + Pistachios & Macadamia Nuts 120g

Graze Roasted Scroggin + Pistachios & Double Choc 140g

Graze ‘Fancy Nut’ Range

Graze Roasted & Salted JUMBO Cashews 120g (we’ve taken a Kiwi favourite and UP-sized them!)

Graze Roasted & Salted Perfect Pistachios 120g (like our alliteration? You’ll love our Pistachios!)

Graze Bulk Pack Extensions

Graze Apricot Nut Medley 475g

Graze Tropical Nut Medley 475g

Graze Roasted & Salted Peanuts 800g

“Distribution and rate of sale of the NPD is growing steadily since launch,” says Taylor.

She adds: “The consumption of dried fruit and nuts is escalating, driven by changing lifestyles and rising health consciousness. Consumers are looking for snacks that are healthy, but also deliver on taste. Convenience continues to be a main driver in this category and resealable bags are seen as an effective means of preventing over-indulgence in snack foods.”

*where applicable


SunRice offers a range of Rice Cakes, Mini Bites and Rice Chips to the New Zealand market across a variety of grains and flavours.

Scott Gross, SunRice Brand Manager – Snacks, explains: “We recently launched our Sweet Chili flavoured Rice Chips. Made with the goodness of wholegrain brown rice and gluten free, these chips are a healthier snack that ‘loves you back’.”

“Consuming healthier snacks is certainly a continued trend we’re seeing in market in addition to an affinity towards more convenient formats and packs that active people can take with them on-the-go.

“SunRice supplies close to 60 countries with diverse, innovative and nutritious rice food products, and through our successful food ingredients and foodservice divisions, contribute to thousands of other brands and businesses around the world,” says Gross.

Davies Foods

Pop’n’Good Popcorn is air-popped, gluten-free, and GMO free and has been made in Te Awamutu for over 30 years years. Pop’n’Good has a flavour for everyone – Light & Buttery, Butter Max, Caramel, Sweet & Salty, Fruitti, and even gourmet flavours like Chocolate & Caramel.

Reuel Newman, Sales Manager says: “ACT II has been NZ’s favourite microwave popcorn since 1999.  ACT II pops up with the perfect amount of flavour every time and is available in five delicious varieties. Available in singles and 3pks. Whether it’s watching a movie, snacking, or in the lunchbox -Davies Foods has you covered with ACT II and Pop’n’Good.”

Newman explains: “Popcorn is now a $23.5m category and is growing at 14%. While a number of new brands have entered the market Pop’n’Good still accounts for 68.8% value share of the RTE Popcorn segment and is growing at 19.3%. Similarly, ACT II accounts for 67% value share of the microwave popcorn segment and is growing at 10.1%. Pop’n’Good and ACT II combined account for 64.8% of the overall popcorn category.”

Newman says “16 out of the top 20 popcorn SKU’s (by value) are either Pop’n’Good or ACT II brands.  In fact, only one competitor SKU even makes it into the top 10.” (Source: Nielsen, value sales – Total Supermarkets, MAT 2 Oct 2016)

“Davies Foods has some exciting plans to continue drive category growth in 2017,” says Newman.

He adds: “Consumers are looking for alternatives to traditional deep-fried potato chips and extruded snacks – both from a taste and variety perspective and from a health perspective. Every year popcorn is gaining more and more consumer acceptance as this alternative. Popcorn ticks the boxes as a wholegrain, high fibre, gluten free snack. And if it’s air-popped instead of deep-fried – even better!”

An interesting year for ETA

The world of premium snacking has been highly competitive in 2016 with Premium offers in Snackfoods growing at 9.6%*

One of the drivers of this growth has been delivered by the team at ETA with a complete re-launch of their Upper Cuts brand.  Having redefined the category in the early 2000’s when launching the first Lamb and Mint chip, after a quieter period, Upper Cuts have burst back into the category with a complete re-launch in 2016.

ETA Upper Cuts offers consumers a premium deli cut chip but stands out from its premium competitors by complementing this offer with a premium Corn Tapas range.

“With new flavours for Deli cut and Corn Tapas and a great new look, supported by a unique campaign, we have had a great year”, highlighted Angela Munro, Marketing Manager ETA.

“ETA Upper Cuts has always been the innovator and once again we are first to market with new flavours, Peking Duck and our Corn and Quinoa Tapas provides a real point of difference for consumers seeking something worth sharing with their friends.

Best of all, the results speak for themselves, the brand’s Retail Sales are now worth $10.2m growing at 62.0%*.  “This is the first time ETA Upper Cuts has broken the $10.0m barrier,” explained Munro, “we think it shows just how excited consumers are with our product and the innovative marketing campaign supporting the brand.”

“The great news is our development team have been looking around the world for our next flavour inspirations and we look forward to bringing these to Kiwi consumers over the coming months.”

*IRI Aztec MarketEdge, Total Grocery, MAT to 25/09/16

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