Biscuits, Cookies and Crackers - UK - March 2014
“The majority of users want to see more on-the-go packs of savoury biscuits and crackers. Offering snack packs containing one or two servings and placing them next to other on-the-go snacks such as cereal or chocolate bars near supermarket tills should forge associations with on-the-go occasions.”
– Heidi Lanschützer, Food & Drink Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- Where do savoury biscuits and crackers need to focus their attentions?
- Would treat biscuits benefit from a permissible treat positioning?
- How can breakfast biscuits increase their appeal among older consumers?
Biscuits enjoy a long-established role as a cupboard staple among Brits. Some 92% eat sweet biscuits, with 45% doing so at least twice a week. Crackers are eaten by 77% of people and savoury biscuits by 73%, however, usage frequency lags considerably behind that of sweet biscuits. Product innovation remains vibrant, making this a dynamic and highly competitive market.
Meanwhile, cereal bars and breakfast biscuits are far less widely used, their penetration standing at 59% and 49%, respectively. They are also consumed far less frequently, these more recent entrants to the market having gained most ground among the under-35s.
Sales of sweet and savoury biscuits and cereal bars/breakfast biscuits achieved growth of less than 3% over 2012-13, while volumes remained almost flat, at 558 million kg in 2013. This reflects the continuous pressure the market is facing from cost inflation, as well as NPD in added-value areas like health, convenience and premium ingredients.
Continuing investment in NPD and ongoing above-the-line advertising support from major players, such as United Biscuits, Mondelēz and Kellogg’s, will play a key role in fighting off the fierce competition from other treats and snacks markets and help keep the category front of mind among consumers.
This report covers sweet and savoury biscuits and crackers as well as cereal, snack and energy bars sold through retail channels.
Sweet biscuits include:
- Everyday biscuits: sweet and semi-sweet biscuits defined as those which are not individually wrapped, such as digestives, Rich Tea, wafers and cookies.
- Everyday treats: biscuits with added ingredients such as chocolate coatings, cream or jam fillings. This includes products such as chocolate digestives and Jaffa Cakes.
- Special biscuit treats: biscuits with added ingredients such as chocolate, cream or jam fillings with an emphasis on indulgence. This includes brands such as Cadbury’s Fingers, McVitie’s Boasters or Fox’s Fabulously Special Selection.
- Chocolate biscuit countlines (CBCLs): individually wrapped chocolate-covered biscuits and include brands such as Rocky, Penguin, Club, Breakaway, Trio or Classic. The products classified as biscuits of brands like KitKat are included.
- Children’s biscuits: include brands such as Burton’s Jammie Dodgers, Burton’s Wagon Wheels and Cadbury’s Animals.
- Healthier biscuits are biscuits with a clear health positioning such as low fat, but also include organic and gluten-free.
- Seasonal biscuit selections are often but not always tins used as gift packaging but which also provide a seasonal positioning for family-sized packs.
Non-sweet biscuits include:
- Crackers and crispbreads: include savoury cracker biscuits, crispbreads, toasts, crisp rolls and matzos, eg Cream Crackers and Water Biscuits, as well as snack-style products sold in the savoury biscuit aisle of the supermarket, eg Ryvita Minis.
- Savoury biscuits: including cheese-flavoured biscuits, thins, oatcakes, flavoured biscuits (not crackers), cheese straws, breadsticks, eg Tuc, Ritz, Cheddars, and Sesame Seed Biscuit.
- Mini savoury snack biscuits: including mini bite-sized baked snacks, based on existing savoury biscuits, which tend to be merchandised in the savoury biscuit aisle in the multiple grocers, for example, Mini Tuc, Oddities.
- Rice cakes: including rice cakes and rice crackers. Excludes cereal bar formats such as Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Squares and Natures Path Organic Rice Bites.
Cereal, snack and energy bars include:
- Fruit bars: bars containing high levels of fruit (>25%), whether in whole fruit or with a fruit filling and pure fruit bars. Examples include Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain, United Biscuits’ Go ahead! bars and Natural Balance Foods’ Nakd bars.
- Nut/Seed bars: bars which contain nuts as their main ingredient, for example Eat Natural.
- Cereal/Granola bars: bars which contain cereal as the main ingredient. Examples range from Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Squares to Nature Valley granola bars.
- Breakfast Biscuits: sweet biscuits positioned as being especially designed for breakfast. Examples include Kraft’s Belvita Breakfast Biscuits, McVitie’s Breakfast and Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Breakfast Biscuits.
- Others: includes energy/exercise products and any other types which do not fit into the three segments above. Examples include Trek Bar and Mule Bar.
Excluded from this report are:
- Chocolate confectionery countlines not marketed as biscuits (eg Chunky KitKat, Mars bars, Snickers).
- Savoury snacks, such as Quavers and Doritos, which are fried or extruded, and not baked as biscuits.
- Savoury biscuits that are sold within the crisps and snacks aisle, despite being oven-baked, for example Pretzels, Party Snacks, Twiglets and Mini Cheddars.
- Cracker and cheese or meat products that are packaged together, and sold in the chiller cabinet, , for example Kraft Lunchables or Ryvita Lunch Packs.
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