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Here’s a healthy new snack idea: crisps. Meet Simply Roasted by Mindful Snacker

by Adrienne Little

May 11, 2021

A new, better-for-you breakthrough is on its way. It's a good old fashioned (new tech) crisp, called Simply Roasted, and is set to launch nationally this Summer. Brand partner And Rising has supported the development of the new brand design, marketing and media strategy.

So what's the thinking?

Simply Roasted has been developed by Mindful Snacker, a new company formed to ‘bring the simple pleasures back’ to snacking and backed by Pilot Lite Ventures. Mindful Snacker’s ‘roasting’ process has been over ten years in the making, with over £20 million in investment so far. The result uses only real potato and is low in fat, salt and sugar (non-HFFS).

The better-for-you snacking revolution is firmly upon us, with 97% of us trying to eat healthily some of the time. But sales of crisps remain dominant in the UK, driven by taste. And despite a raft of innovation, healthier crisps still lag behind the taste and textures of their original potato crisps.

"Using our breakthrough roasting technology Simply Roasted crisps will disrupt the category: the first brand to truly bridge the gap between indulgent and better-for-you. We believe we are the future of snacking." Ruth Fittock, marketing director, Mindful Snacker

Foods that are high in saturated fats, salts, and sugar (HFSS) are also bothering regulators proposing to ban the advertising of these foods altogether. Experts are also consulting on removing unhealthy snacks from supermarket checkouts due to start next year. Meanwhile, Transport For London has already banned advertising of HFSS brands —though some junk foods seem to be getting past these rules, causing controversy. Crisp brands are going to be subject to a lot of new regulations. But as a non-HFSS product, Simply Roasted is clear for mainstream marketing support.

A stable category in need of innovation

The crisp category is surprisingly stable, given that we are shifting to healthier foods. The reality is that taste drives behaviours no matter our intentions (most crisps growth comes from new premium flavours). We crave high-salt, fat, sugar foods because our brains burn a lot of energy, so we evolved to love high-energy food. A lot of effort goes into designing junk food to be cheap, handy, and most of all, delicious. To keep us coming back. And treats are always on the cards, no matter how healthy your routine. The conclusion is clear: if we want to give everyone a chance to snack better, then crisps themselves need a change.

Mindful Snacker’s first task was to take on the tough R&D challenge to revisit this staple. Given that crisps first emerged in the UK a hundred years ago, it’s hard to believe that attempts to create a healthier crisp haven’t involved the whole potato itself but rather a potato-based mesh of different things. While these formulations aren’t wrong, the taste will always be affected when the potato is mixed with other things.

The journey took the team back to the future: a ground-breaking process involving roasting the potato, the whole potato, and nothing but the potato. The result is a new future for crisps: natural and deliciously healthy, with 50% less fat and no nasties. Finally, a better-for-you potato crisp with all the taste of an actual potato crisp (maybe even better).

Integrating brand and product development

Creating the brand followed a similar approach, taking a not-so-simple innovation and turning it into a brilliant short-hand. “Simply Roasted” was developed to call out a change and position itself as an instant classic within the category. Simply Roasted packaging looks like it could have been there all along, except it’s new.

A lot of snacking has historically happened ‘on the go’ as impulse purchases. The past year has forced a choice with people staying at home: do you go healthy, swapping travel for more exercise, or indulge more to make up for the boredom? Demand for traditional cravings initially won out. Brits bought an extra 21% worth of crisps in the run-up to the first lockdown last year. Going forward, over £1 billion of crisp sales is still by far the largest segment of the £3 billion worth of snacks sold in the UK. Simply Roasted lands at an opportune time.

The brand’s “simply” tone and humility are deliberate, allowing it to be for everyone and to fit into people’s lives however they’d like. Simply Roasted doesn’t need to over-play its achievement. When you have this scale of innovation, it’s ok just to say it.

The brand’s iconic potato-shaped graphics and a fresh colour palette are Instagram ready. Avoiding any cynical junk-food cues, Simply Roasted uses a stripped-back, Apple-esque design made friendly and delicious. As we emerge back into an open world, that choice to go healthy just got a little easier.


Branding & Packaging
Food & Drink