Can Scotland’s food companies set the bar when it comes to new beer snack products?

Nearly half of UK beer drinkers are interested in beer and snack pairings according to a recent report. This also extends to other alcohol, like wine and spirits. Can Scottish food manufacturers serve up original and strong-flavoured snacks to meet customer expectations?

According to Mintel’s 2018 Summer Food and Drink Trends report, 46% of UK beer drinkers would like more information about food and beer matching options.

The food and alcohol pairing market has moved beyond restaurants and pubs. And new ranges of crisps, nuts, meat snacks and savoury biscuits have been launched to compliment the taste of beer, wine and spirits.

Food and drink pairing is already well-established in the craft beer world, where beers are often paired with different courses. So, what kind of innovative alcohol-matching snacks are resonating with the customer?

Barmies: the snack made from beer by-products

Barmies is a Nottinghamshire baked beer snack, developed from surplus beer barm, a by-product of the beer brewing fermentation process. The beer barm comes from local breweries, is full of B vitamins and is an ideal ingredient for baking.

The brand’s range includes; smoked chipotle, cheese and sesame, and olive tapenade. The snacks are designed to be enjoyed alongside craft beer and ales.

Made for Drinks: the small-batch bar snack

This company develops artisanal snacks for beer fans, inspired by global drinking cultures. It's developed Mangalitza salami chips that sit well with a fruit pilsner, and duck fritons that compliment IPAs.

Made for Drinks also offers snack matches for wines and spirits. Its chorizo thins are made to go with Riojas, and the patacones plantain chips match with the carnival flavours of rum.

Walkers: the big brand approach

Retail snack giant, Walkers, launched its Max Strong crisp line in February. Walkers claims that 15% of beer-drinking occasions in the UK feature a packet of crisps.

The Leicester-based crisp manufacturer hopes people are going to take a shine to its chilli and lime, jalapeno and cheese, hot chicken wings and wasabi flavours. And think Walkers when they order a pint.

The Drinks Bakery: Scotland's drink biscuit maker

The Drink’s Bakery believes that "great drinks deserve great snacks" and that’s what it aims to deliver. The company makes drink biscuits that match with beer.

Its mature cheddar, chilli and almond match with spicy and aromatic wines, blond and tropical beers, IPA and larger. The company's Lancashire cheese and spring onion biscuits match with dry wines, larger, bitter beers, porter and stout. And its Parmesan toasted pine nuts and basil flavour is made for Prosecco, fruity wines, tropical and blond beers, IPA and lager.

Innovation support for Scottish food and drink companies

Coming up with snacks to match with beer, wine or spirits is an opportunity to explore. Great ideas could come from thinking about what flavours to match with Scotland’s favourite tipples. If you want to understand more about the rise of food and drink pairings in Scotland our team of innovation experts are here to help.

Make Innovation Happen is a single source of innovation support for businesses involved in the Scottish food and drink supply chain.

Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise work in partnership across academia, the public sector and the industry to deliver a comprehensive innovation support service.

Make Innovation Happen can help your business by providing:

  • Access to 'connectors', who can offer support, advice and mentoring, as well as direction to appropriate support
  • Ideas and insights on how to innovate through articles and events
  • Funding through the Collaborative Innovation Fund
  • Help to access other innovation services provided by Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Interface and others

Looking for innovation support?

Our Make Innovation Happen service can help you improve employee, product and process productivity.