Last week Retail Insider attended the launch of a four-day pop-up shop in London’s Soho for upmarket, roasted crisp brand Simply Roasted. The company – not content with entering the ridiculously over-crowded snacking market last year – introduced a very novel concept as its latest marketing channel.
We’ve had lots of pick-and-mix sweets. We’ve eaten pick-and-mix popcorn at the cinema. And maybe nuts too. But for crisps – that’s a new one to Retail Insider. Admittedly it’s potentially not a retail strategy that could economically work for more than a weekend (as crisps go soft rather quickly!) but as a brand-awareness exercise the results were impressive as the crowds poured in.
Using gamification involving a Wheel of Fortune combined with the novelty of shovelling assorted flavours into one eat-now box of open crisps in the consumer’s favoured layers of taste kept people entertained and ensured a lot of social media exposure.
The brand’s marketing spokesperson told Retail Insider that the company had no plans to open any physical shops but that this pop-up concept could certainly be rolled out to other cities. The location was a strategic one as it was almost next to a large branch of Wholefoods which is a major stockist of the brand.
Simply Roasted took 10 years to develop its patented roasting technology which means that that its crisps, fully vegan and produced in Norfolk, contain 50% less fat and 25% less salt. For a while it was one of the only non-HFSS (High in Fat, Salt and Sugar) crisps available although some larger brands have now altered their recipes to conform to government guidelines. After only a year in business it celebrated being accepted into 230 Waitrose stores, and on the Ocado platform, in September 2022 and, according to the spokesperson, already has 30,000 users on its database and is the most popular-rated crisp on TrustPilot.
Slightly unusually the customer demographic so far, and in September the company was selling 3,000 bags a day, is strongly skewed to the older female market and the company spokesperson confirmed that it is not at all positioned as a millennial brand despite the vegan and healthy snacking message.
There are also new flavours on the way (to date they have been very traditional bar the Black Truffle flavour, which is not universally loved by reviewers) but no further details are yet available. However, Simply Roasted is preparing to launch its new Sub-Crisp-Tion scheme that will be available by Christmas and which ties in nicely with the boom in subscription boxes generally.