Everyone likes a nibble

The snackfoods market is wide open to publicans as an additional income stream – and customers want to buy them. But limited choice to date has cramped their style. Could all that be changing?

While I enjoy eating out and relish good pub food just as much as the next trencherman, there are times when I just want some light, fun bites to accompany my drink. I don’t necessarily want a three-course meal or a starter-dish but seek something downsized from even that.

In this I’m by no means alone. The 27,100 tonne retail Irish snackfood market in Ireland is worth nearly €325 million according to Euromonitor.

This can be broken down into the €276 million crisp market and the €48 million ‘nuts, seeds & trial mixes’ market.

Both markets are expected to grow. In the case of the crisp market, to €282 million next year – and to €307 million by 2020.

The nuts, seeds & trial mixes market will grow to a value of €50 million next year and to €57 million by 2020.

Despite this growth projection, there’s a distinct lack of choice out there for the pub customer longing for a craft spirits/craft beer-like revolution in the snackfoods market that could well turn an occasional purchase into a regular one in hostelries up and down the land.

The idea is not alien to the publican but acting on it does seem to be continually put off until another time. But if thought is given to it, some have made the connection between snackfoods and drinks. One publican suggested that if he could purchase a handy cheese-and-biscuits package to accompany the wines he sells by the glass in his premises, he’d do so.

For innovators in the snack foods market, the world is their oyster – if they can crack the on-trade market first.

Because the truth is that every one of your customers likes a nibble with their drink at some point. In stocking a wider range of bar snacks the publican stands every chance of increasing sales in this sector and also further highlighting snackfoods’s convenience as a viable alternative to even the smallest of snacks from the kitchen.

But all too many pubs still offer a take-it-or-leave-it vista of snackfoods for their customers. These consist of a packet of crisps (invariably cheese & onion) or a packet of peanuts (where the customer can choose between ‘roasted’ – woooo – or ‘plain’).

It’s a shame really, because there’s so much more out there..


Jack Links Beef Jerky

Move over wine and cheese, now there’s beer and jerky. Previously seen as a snack for the outdoor enthusiast only, beef jerky has quickly become an on-trend healthy snack option consumed by both men and women alike.

Jack Links meat snacks are available in a variety of flavours that pair nicely with just about any kind of beer, from lightly-hopped lagers to bold, robust ales.

Jack Link’s Beef Jerky is available in four flavours: Original, Sweet & Hot, Teriyaki and Peppered.

The balance between the hop bitterness and malt sweetness of contrasting beers when matched with the different flavour profiles of jerky combine together making it the perfect pairing.

“Jack Links Beef Jerky is also currently being used as a delicious garnish for the popular infused bourbon and whiskey cocktails at the Camden Exchange in Dublin,” points out Sinéad Smith, Marketing Manager at Ampersand, distributors for the brand.

Jack Links Beef Jerky is also currently being used as a delicious garnish for the popular infused bourbon and whiskey cocktails at the Camden Exchange in Dublin.

Jack Links Beef Jerky is also currently being used as a delicious garnish for the popular infused bourbon and whiskey cocktails at the Camden Exchange in Dublin.

Jack Links Beef Jerky owes its unique flavour to a secret old recipe with its distinctive smoky sweetness that ensures an authentic, enjoyable meat experience. Over 130 years of experience and a lot of skill has gone into mastering the global phenomenon that is Jack Links Beef Jerky which has become such a hit with Irish consumers and gone on to become Ireland’s No1 Beef Jerky since Ampersand launched it five years ago.

It can be purchased through your local wholesaler or contact Ampersand directly; for more information on 01 4130150 or via



‘Scratch My Pork’ Pork Scratchings

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‘Scratch My Pork’ Pork Scratchings provides Irish publicans a new and exciting alternative to crisps, bacon fries and nuts that has not been available to them previously on the Irish market.

Scratch My Pork is the brainchild of Kiwi chef Matt Brownie who set up home in West Cork in 2008 and brought with him a craving for something new.

Using a combination of his skills as a chef and the best of Ireland’s produce, the story of Scratch My Pork began.

Matt’s creation went on to become an award-winning snack which he developed in Skibbereen, County Cork. It’s a natural product made 100% from Irish pork rind which, when cooked to specific temperatures with unique spices, results in a crunchy, crispy, flavoursome and nutritious snack…Pork Crackling with an Irish twist!

Ampersand took over the distribution of Scratch My Pork earlier this year, relaunching it on the market with new branding and packaging.

Ampersand is currently building the brand within the Irish convenience and forecourt sector and is also driving sales with a focus on the wholesale, pub & off-licence channels.

This delicious hand-cooked, gluten-free, dairy-free and msg-free savoury snack is available in three flavours: Salted, Smokey and Cajun.

If you’d like to stock Scratch My Pork in your outlet you can source the range from your local wholesaler or contact Ampersand directly for more information on 01 4130150 or via



Idle Hands

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Idle Hands Snacks, a small Dublin company set up in Januray, wants to make it easy and profitable for publicans to offer a delicious alternative to the traditional pub snack. Ian Rafferty, who started the company, was bored and frustrated with being offered “cheap salty peanuts and greasy crisps” to accompany great craft beers in really nice bars.

He guessed other health-conscious and quality food-loving punters – and publicans – must feel the same and so sought out some nuts and snacks which he felt would suit the Irish market.

Because quality nuts have become very expensive, he decided that supplying snacks to bars in bulk was the best way for the publican to make a decent margin without the product being too pricey for the public.

He came up with an attractive wooden display unit with Kilner jars and chalk board fronts which sits neatly behind the bar without taking up much space whilst advertising the range to customers.

Included in the set-up is the perfect serving ladle and standard serving bowl, so portions are controlled while giving a decent portion to customers (85g almonds or cashews, 90g peanuts and 55g Bombay mix).

Idle Hands’ range comes in 2.5Kg bags including:


-Smoked almonds -Jalapeno and lime cashews

-Chilli cashews -Salsa mesquite almonds

-Bombay mix -Mediterranean herb cashews

-Premium salted peanuts

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A 52% margin on a standard range of three snacks including an almond, cashew and bombay mix produces €110 profit on a cost of €100 stock. Recommended selling prices are €2.75 for almonds and cashews, €1.50 for Bombay mix and €2.00 for peanuts.

Idle Hands gives customers something new, a real Point Of Difference from other bars, offering quality alternative snacks which match perfectly with quality alternative beers. It’s also a very low risk proposition. If you just sell half the nuts you get in your first order, you’ve covered your costs and tried something different, though most customers to date have been re-ordering within a month or so.



O’Donnells – Ireland’s favourite hand cooked crisp

Consistently the number 1 hand-cooked crisp in the market, O’Donnells taste is distinctive as it sources its ingredients from local food producers. O’Donnells is the ideal brand to be stocked by premises looking to offer their customers a more indulgent treat.



King crisps are delicious with a unique taste because of the secret ingredient added to every pack! King size ‘King’ is available in large 50g bags, ideal for pub occasions.

This Summer King has announced a brand partnership with Irish GAA star Bernard Brogan who becomes ‘King of the Hill’ through a takeover of Croke Park whilst executing a winning strike campaign right through the key championship season.  The campaign features outdoor, digital, PR and an on-pack activation.  Brogan’s involvement with King marks a new stage for King reinforcing the brand’s strong Dublin connection.



KP Nuts

KP Salted nuts

Using knowledge gained from over 63 years of history, KP Nuts has created a number of unique flavours.

KP has some new creations such as XL Crunch Coated range which comes in three hard-hitting flavours; XL Flamegriled Steak, XL Jalapeno Salsa and XL Sweet Chilli with a Twist of Lemon.

KP Nuts has just unveiled new packaging for the popular Salted and Dry Roasted peanuts bringing a fresh and vibrant look to the shelves – sure to catch the customer’s eyes behind the bar.


KP Dry Roasted Nuts


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