Opinion

Chips Key Takeaways from January Retailer Trends

Published Mar 15, 2024
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Retailer Trends report aims to analyze and gather insights on changing consumer behavior, market attractiveness, and the increasing popularity of private labels in the retail landscape. Tridge has on-site checkers in eight countries gathering first-hand data on major food groups.
From Tridge's findings, key trends and observations are made in the Confectionery, Chips section in three countries from three key regions: Asia, North America, and Europe.

Chips Rising Trends & Consumer Preference

Rise of Unique Flavors & Adult-tailored Chips in South Korea

Based on the observations of chips found in South Korean retail stores, confectionery companies compete against each other to produce enticing new products and eye-catching flavors. To capture this dynamic market where customer demand moves at a fast pace, many companies are redirecting their efforts into diversifying flavors of their best-sellers instead of spending resources on getting people to try out an entirely new product, such as Orion's Vietnamese-inspired rice noodles and sriracha sauce flavor Swing Chips. These limited edition chips are the first part of their Swing Chip Swing Road series, which introduces flavors and seasonings worldwide.

Orion’s Vietnamese Rice Noodle Flavor (Left) & Sriracha Sauce Flavor (Right) Chip

Source: Orion

Adult-tailored chips are also rising due to the popularity and success of Lotte World Food and Nongshim’s dried pollack chips in 2023. Muktae and Nogari, dried pollacks, are most commonly consumed as a side dish to alcohol. The success of Muktae and Nogari chips has enticed the two companies to expand on their dried pollack chips. It has triggered other major food companies, such as Orion and Haitai Confectionery, to introduce their alcohol-accompanied chips.

Lotte World Food's Dried Pollack Cheongyang Mayo Flavor Potato Chip

Source: E-Mart

Expanding on their already successful product line with unconventional flavors allows companies to create buzz amplified by social media and attract new customers to their products.

Prevalence of Paprika-flavored Chips in Germany

Paprkia-flavored chips are prevalent in Germany as Paprika is a staple flavor in national and PB brands. All three retail stores visited by Tridge sell their own PB paprika chips. During January’s visitation, nearly half of the private label chips found were Paprika-flavored, mostly from ALDI Nord.

Paprika-flavored Private Label Chips

Source: Rewe, Edeka, and ALDI Nord

Due to the migration of Eastern Europeans and Hungary, whose national spice is paprika, it has become a beloved ingredient and spice in German Cuisine such as Goulash and Paprikaschnitzel. Also called bell peppers in many European countries, Paprika is prevalent.

According to Tridge, Germany imported USD 55.55M of crushed or grounded Paprika in 2022, mainly from Spain and China. And yet, the two newly released chips found in January were non-paprika flavored. This indicates that retail stores are expanding their product line to include various flavors.

Dominance of Frito-Lay in the US

Frito-Lay dominates the chips market in the US as their brands take up the most significant shelf space and are in the two best rows at direct eye level at Walmart and Albertsons.

Shelf Dominance of Frito-Lay in Albertsons

Source: Tridge

The NFL playoff in January and February is a significant event for many food and beverage companies in the US as they gear up to expose and promote their products during the sporting event. Frito-Lay, in preparation, has launched the 2024 NFL Playoff Campaign and was found to be displaying chips with the special NFL mark on the packaging.

Tositos NFL marked packaging

Source: Tridge

PB & Non-PB Price Comparison

Aside from China and Japan, the average retail prices of PB chips are lower than those of the national brand chips, with China and the US at the higher end of the price range and South Korea and Japan at the lower prices.

PB & Non-PB Price Comparison

Source: Tridge

The high price of China's chips is due to the retail stores visited, Freshippo X and Ole'. Freshippo X, a warehouse-type retail where the products are in bulk, and Ole', a high-end boutique store where most of the products are imported ones, have increased the average retail price of both PB and non-PB chips in China, Especially for PB products. China is the only country where the average retail price of PB chips is higher than that of non-PB chips. There was an unprecedentedly low number of PB chips in China, all in Freshippo X, where the PB products had the largest packaging. Therefore, PB prices are much lower when the price is per 100g.

Source: Tridge

The chips in the US are also in much larger quantities, and the products observed were mostly party sizes. Thus, the packaging found in the US ranges from 170g to 368g, driving up the average retail prices. On the other hand, the chips in Japan, where many products are in smaller quantities, are sold in 40g to 140g.

The chips market is one of the most active markets Tridge has observed, with constant new releases, promotions, and collaborations. It is especially fierce in South Korea as local companies introduce new daring flavors, whereas, in the US, a single entity dominates the market, which makes South Korea a more enticing market for overseas companies and OEMs.

For further information, please check out Retailer Trend Reports on Tridge website.

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