The Cara Pils of the chips world is closing down, Aldi will scrap the Pirato brand from next year and rename it Sun Snacks. “There is a good reason for this,” says the supermarket chain, but retail specialist Gino Van Ossel sees a different one.
Chris Snick en Tom Le Bacq
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There are Lay’s and Croky among the A-brands, but when it comes to private label chips, Pirato is by far the best known. Although that will come to an end from next year. Aldi retires their pirate. “Ahoy snack buddy, after years of sailing I am stranded on a paradise island. Here I enjoy my retirement in the bright sun. That’s why your favorite Pirato snacks will soon be called Sun Snacks,” it now says on the packaging of the chips.
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It is a bizarre move to cancel such a well-known brand. But according to Aldi, it fits into a broader story. “Internationally, we are rethinking private labels,” says spokesperson Jason Sevestre. “We want fewer brands, not fewer products, but simply fewer different names. The aim is to increase recognisability. To start with, we have several other snacks that, in addition to Pirato, also have their own names. These all come under Sun Snacks. In addition, it is also useful that when you enter an Aldi in, say, Spain, you will find the same brands as here. That’s clearer. But that also means choices have to be made.” Why didn’t they choose to put everything under the popular ‘Pirato’? “The chips from Aldi-Nord, the chain under which we belong, are already called Sun Snacks. We know that Pirato is very well known here, but that is why it will change from 2024. Precisely because it is so popular, we are already communicating about it so as not to make the transition too abruptly. Other brands, such as Tandil laundry detergent or Trader Joe’s nuts and cookies, will remain.”
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At Aldi Nord, all chips are already called ‘Sun Snacks’ — © red
However, retail specialist Gino Van Ossel sees another reason than ‘recognizability’. “That cannot be the main reason. A Belgian generally does not shop at Aldi Netherlands and a Dutch person does not shop at Aldi Belgium. For me this is a saving. One brand for multiple countries also means that you purchase a larger volume of one package, which is cheaper than each other per country. Aldi is not the only one who does this. Many products from the Delhaize brand 365 are sold abroad in sister companies. For example also in Greece or Romania. Look at their milk carton, it has different languages on it. The same with Carrefour products.”
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Will the chips also have a different flavor with the new brand? At Aldi they cannot yet say whether there will be another producer, currently it is Roger&Roger or the company behind Croky. “Whatever the decision, the intention is to stay as close to the original taste as possible.” According to Van Ossel, the same packaging can also contain its own flavor per country. “When you are on holiday, you notice that Lay’s is not the same everywhere.”
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