Packaging & Product Development: Spent Grain Crisps Revival
Darling Brew Beer Grain Crisps are a uniquely South African creation that originated in the West Coast town of Darling in 2018. Utilising the spent Grains from the Beer Making process these fabulous tasting crisps are not only contributing to our Sustainability drive but are also a significantly healthier alternative to regular chips.
When brewing beer, malt and barley is mixed with hot water in the mash tun, once the grains are mashed, the liquid is separated from the grains, this remaining grain is called spent grain, this is what we turn into Beer Grain Crisps.
There is still a considerable amount of moisture in these spent grains, and thus unlike regular chips where as much as 1500 liters of water is used with 1000kgs of maize, our crisps require no additional water. By utilising the spent grains, we are minimizing food wastage and contributing to the conservation of our water supplies.
These spent grains are then converted into a dough which is cut to our unique hexagonal shape which like our Slow Lager is inspired by the Geometric tortoise and the shape found on its shell. The hexagonal crisps are then baked, and flash fried so as to create their exceptional crispness.
Darling Brew Beer Crisps are 50% lower in fat than regular chips, and as a result of the spent grains are High in Fiber. Oh, and incidentally it’s great for the kids as there is no alcohol involved in the Crisps. Darling Brew Beer Crisps are available in eye catching new packaging designed by Jumpin' the Gun in four delicious flavours, Mature Cheddar, Sticky Barbeque, Fruit Chutney, and Jalapeno. Something for everyone and the perfect any time snack or sit back with your favorite Darling Brew Beer and enjoy at leisure.
Q & A with DB National Sales & Marketing Manager - Harry Dare:
When was it decided to revamp the packaging and how does it differ (apart from appearance) to the previous pack?
It was decided that the old packaging did not do justice to the unique offering of the product, nor did it clearly illustrate the positioning and type of product that the beer grain crisps present. We began the process of changing the packaging in the first half of 2021.
A little about the process of deciding on the design and artwork for the new packs.
We wanted to create packs for our re-launched product that would resonate with consumers looking for a tasty snack but providing something a little different and actually a healthier alternative. We wanted to allow consumers to identify our product in the same area as regular chips, but at the same time communicate that although similar we were quite different and in many ways so much better!
Did the revamp coincide with a range extension or were there always four flavours?
We have totally revitalised the range, the original flavours of which there were two, were bland in comparison, our 4 new flavours pack a zingy punch! (Mature Cheddar, Smokey BBQ, Jalapeno, and Fruit Chutney.) Besides the flavour improvement, our re-launch brings a new shape crisper Crisp to the “party” with each crisp being in a hexagonal design, a tribute to the Geometric tortoise and in line with our Core beer brand Darling Brew Slow Lager which was inspired by this critically endangered species.
Is the new look in the market yet and, if so, how has it been received and how are sales compared to previously?
The new look is quite literally going into the market as you read this!! The response from the trade has been exceptional, and the consumer off-take is already seeing the early adopters re-purchasing this fabulous new Crisp.
Can we elaborate on the environmental aspects of the packaging and the health aspects of the products?
In terms of the environment aspects of the Crisps and also their Health aspects, we have covered this in the initial copy, however as a re-cap….. By utilising the spent grains, we are minimizing food wastage and contributing to the conservation of our water supplies. Our Crisps are also high in Fiber and Low in Fat
What are your sales targets/expectations for the crisps?
We are hugely excited about the revived interest in the crisps, and have already been asking the production team what our volume capacity looks like. The good news is we make a lot of beer, so we have plenty of spent grains, so we are quietly optimistic that our beer grain crisps will have the snack market sitting up and taking notice!
What does 2022 hold by way of further new developments and range extensions?
Ha-ha, lets first make sure we get these great new packs and exciting flavours into the trade and have consumers try and enjoy them, but we can say that we have some fabulous plans for additional Beer Grain products to compliment our portfolio, and excite the consumers… watch this space!!