Case Studies


Case Study:

From Unproven Tech into UK's #1 Snack Brand

Pilot Lite Case Study - From Unproven Tech into UK's #1 Snack Brand

Pilot Lite successfully commercialized a stranded corporate technology, creating a category-busting, award-winning crisp with the lowest fat and salt content in the market.

The challenge

A leading multinational CPG invested over $20m and more than 10 years of R&D to develop a breakthrough cooking process for crisps that resulted in a healthier nutritional profile producing crisps with 50% less fat and significantly less salt than traditional fried crisps. However, the company estimated it would take another $25m to scale the techhology. Deploying this new roasting process would also affect their current processing lines. So, despite being a truly transformative way to produce a great-tasting, better-for-you crisp, they put the technology on pause.


The solution

In 2019, Pilot Lite acquired the innovative crisp roasting technology, and in little over a year, we were able to validate and scale the manufacturing process. We established a crisp production facility near Norwich, England, spending about a fifth of the original estimated budget. 

The Simply Roasted process begins with fresh, whole potatoes that are specifically graded, inspected and sliced for roasting. The slices are then transferred through the preparation and cooking stages, emerging as skin-on potato crisps with a hard, crunchy bite. Simply Roasted stands in a category all its own because it offers the great taste of a traditional fried crisp but with only 50 percent less fat and significantly less salt. That nutritional profile qualified Simply Roasted as the first HFSS-compliant crisp in the UK. In addition to delivering a great-tasting, better-for-you crisp, the Simply Roasted cooking method uses about 25% less energy than traditional crisp production.

Pilot Lite validated and co-invested in a 2021 launch of Simply Roasted in London and Brighton. A successful test market in 20 stores led to a national roll-out in grocery and high street stores, including 2,900 distribution points using the Pilot Lite network. Simply Roasted launched in 4 core flavors (Sea Salt, Mature Cheddar & Red Onion, Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar and Black Truffle) and followed by an extended range of flavors for adventurous snackers. 

From an unproven technology to an award-winning brand, Pilot Lite grew Simply Roasted into the UK's fastest-growing snack brand and a resounding market success. Following its launch, the company experienced 223% month-on-month and 370% year-on-year growth. Simply Roasted received awards from The Grocer for best new product, top launch, and great taste and was covered by Vogue Magazine, The Metro, and The Sunday Times.  The brand also attracted 30,000 email subscribers and racked up 3 million views on TikTok.

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