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Craft beer and Ruffles potato chips: elevating the snacking experience

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-08-01  Views: 3
Core Tip: To celebrate the summer, Ruffles potato chips has launched its “Chips & Sips” campaign in the US which sees the brand pair products in its range with different types of beers, as well as promoting craft beer brands from across the country.
To celebrate the summer, Ruffles potato chips has launched its “Chips & Sips” campaign in the US which sees the brand pair products in its range with different types of beers, as well as promoting craft beer brands from across the country.

Using the flavor profiles of individual products in its portfolio, the male targeted FritoLay brand has sought to provide suggestions for beer types which would complement each potato chip in the range.

For example, the brand recommends that pilsner beers be matched with their Cheddar & Sour Cream chips, claiming that they are “perfect for pilsners to tone down the hops” while ales are recommended to be paired with Ruffles Flamin’ Hot flavor as “the bitterness of the hops goes great with the spicy heat” of this variant.

While pairing alcohol with food is nothing new and is highly established within the foodservice sector, within the packaged food space, significant opportunity exists to leverage this approach to elevate product offerings across different categories.

Ruffles has sought to enhance and elevate the snacking occasion using this approach. With 48% of US consumers preferring to try new experiences over new products, according to GlobalData’s Q3 2016 consumer survey, the pressure is on for brands to come up with more multi-sensory and multi-faceted consumption experiences to meet this need. By providing guidance on beer pairings, the brand is able to combine a much loved combination but in a more sophisticated way – without necessarily changing anything inherent to the product itself.

In recent years there has been a spate of more sophisticated flavour profiles and offerings in order to appeal to the adult palate. Brands such as Kettle are specifically targeting older age groups with their high quality claims (such as handmade and organic), premium positioning, and diverse flavour offerings such a Pepperoncini and Olive Oil and even Sriracha.

The challenge for savory snack brands, particularly conventional, “catch-all” offerings, will be to elevate the snacking occasion, making it both more exciting and experiential yet also with a sophisticated edge to appeal to adult palates.

In this respect, pairing approaches, such as with alcohol, can help refine and target these products to this audience without having to change the product formulation and overall positioning. Rather is serves to draw the attention of these elevated palates and highlights the brand as a credible “adultified” offering.
 
keywords: potato chips
 
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