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Cookies and Cookie Bars - US - April 2012

In 2011, the cookie/cookie bar category returned to positive territory in terms of sales growth, as total U.S. sales reached an estimated $6.4 billion. The 2.7% increase was a nice improvement from 2010, which saw sales drop by 0.7%.

Going forward, marketers will be challenged to build on the momentum created in 2011, and nothing can be taken for granted. Manufacturers and retailers respectively both face a variety of competition; the former against other products that can be substituted for cookies/cookie bars, and the latter against channels that carry cookies/cookie bars as a matter of course.

Mintel last produced the cookie/cookie bar report in 2010 when the country was reeling from the destructive forces of one of the worst recessions in history. In 2012, the economy continues to be stymied by high unemployment levels, as well as consumers who remain somewhat wary regarding their spending. In this report, Mintel takes a comprehensive look at the cookie/cookie bar market with an eye on the past and a look to the future, reporting on factors that have the potential to impact the cookie/cookie bar sector for years to come, providing insights on the following topics:

  • Given the category’s recent growth, what can manufacturers and retailers do to increase the chances of success in the near- and long-term?
  • What impact are macro-level trends (e.g., the economy, America’s obesity epidemic) having on the category, and what can be/is being done to turn challenges into opportunities?
  • What trends are emerging in terms of manufacturers’ product development and innovations, and are they in tune with what matters most to today’s consumers?
  • What is the perception of name brands versus private label at a time when the economy is still recovering from a deep recession? Have consumers changed their buying habits, and if so, how can the industry take advantage of new opportunities?
  • At a time when social media is generating lots of marketing buzz, which sales strategies make the most sense in terms of trying to effectively connect with key target audiences?
  • Given that cookies/cookie bars are sold at a wide variety of formats, what can retailers do to improve the likelihood that consumers will buy these products from their specific formats?
  • What, if any, impact do the various socioeconomic, gender, race/ethnicity, and other demographic factors have on the cookie/cookie bar category?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer data
              • Advertising creative
                • Acronyms and terms
                  • Acronyms
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                      • Cookie/cookie bar category rebounds in 2011
                        • Standard cookies’ growth responsible for much of category’s growth
                          • Rising ingredient prices and obesity challenge sector growth
                            • Category faces competition on variety of fronts
                              • Supermarkets see slight market share gain of cereal/snack bar sales
                                • Kraft Foods dominates FDMx channel
                                  • Cookie/cookie bar product launches slumping since 2010
                                    • Traditional advertising and social media key marketing components
                                      • Today’s cookie/cookie bar consumer
                                      • Insights and Opportunities

                                        • Diabetic-friendly yet appealing to all seeking low/no-sugar variants
                                          • Branded cookie shops
                                            • Retailers should leverage private label opportunities
                                              • Candy bar brands could invigorate cookie bar segment
                                                • Tap into interest in functional benefit ingredients
                                                  • Develop meal replacement cookies/cookie bars
                                                    • Create licensing agreements to promote brands and boost revenue
                                                    • Inspire Insights

                                                        • Trend 1: Factory Fear
                                                          • Trend 2: Never Say Die
                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Market rebounds in 2011
                                                                • Figure 1: Total U.S. retail sales of cookies/cookie bars, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                • Figure 2: Total U.S. retail sales of cookies/cookie bars, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2006-16
                                                              • Fan chart forecast
                                                                • Figure 3: Fan chart forecast of cookies/cookie bars, 2006-16
                                                              • Walmart sales
                                                              • Market Drivers

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Obesity rates affecting discretionary calorie consumption
                                                                    • Figure 4: Percentage of population aged 20+ who are overweight, obese, or extremely obese, 1988-2008
                                                                  • Bakery products’ prices to increase in 2012
                                                                    • Figure 5: Changes in food price indexes, 2009-12
                                                                    • Figure 6: Real disposable income, 2007-11*
                                                                  • Low teen population growth means smaller key target audience
                                                                    • Figure 7: Population by age, 2006-16
                                                                  • Number of households with children continue to decline
                                                                    • Figure 8: Households by presence of children, 2001-11
                                                                  • Asian and Hispanic population growth increases groups’ influence
                                                                    • Figure 9: Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2006-16
                                                                • Competitive Context

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Consumers somewhat split regarding name brands and private label
                                                                      • New manufacturers and products encroaching on market
                                                                        • Girl Scout cookies would rank as number two FDMx manufacturer
                                                                          • In-store bakeries (ISBs) enjoy freshness perception
                                                                            • Baking from scratch a real option for cookie/cookie bar fans
                                                                            • Segment Performance

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Standard cookies set the bar for the category
                                                                                    • Figure 10: Total U.S. retail sales of cookies/cookie bars, by segment
                                                                                • Segment Performance—Standard Cookies

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Sales show growth compared to flat 2010
                                                                                        • Figure 11: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of standard cookies, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                                    • Segment Performance—Premium Cookies

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Segment growth at a premium
                                                                                            • Figure 12: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of premium cookies, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                                        • Segment Performance—Healthy Cookies

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Healthy cookies segment may be poised for sustained growth
                                                                                                • Figure 13: Snacks considered healthy
                                                                                                • Figure 14: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of healthy cookies, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                                            • Segment Performance—Cookie Bars

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Sales of cookie bars continue to decline
                                                                                                    • Figure 15: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of cookie bars, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                                                • Retail Channels

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Supermarkets post slight market share gain
                                                                                                      • Figure 16: Total U.S. sales of cookies/cookie bars, by channel, 2009 and 2011
                                                                                                    • Supermarkets need to leverage format’s unique strengths
                                                                                                      • Figure 17: Supermarket sales of cookies/cookie bars, at current prices, 2006-11
                                                                                                    • Cookie/cookie bar easy to stock in “other” retailer formats
                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Other retailers sales of cookies/cookie bars, at current prices, 2006-11
                                                                                                  • Retail Channels—Natural Supermarkets

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Gluten-free cookies spur growth in natural supermarkets
                                                                                                        • Sales of cookies/cookie bars in natural channel
                                                                                                          • Figure 19: Natural supermarket sales of cookies/cookie bars, at current prices, 2009-11*
                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Natural supermarket sales of cookies/cookie bars, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-11*
                                                                                                        • Brands of significance
                                                                                                          • Natural channel sales of cookies/cookie bars, by organic content
                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Natural supermarket sales of cookies/cookie bars, by organic content, 2009 and 2011*
                                                                                                          • Natural channel sales of cookies/cookie bars by gluten presence
                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Natural supermarket sales of cookies/cookie bars, by gluten presence, 2009 and 2011*
                                                                                                        • Leading Companies

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Kraft Foods posts largest sales and share gain
                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Manufacturer FDMx sales of cookies/cookie bars in the U.S., 2010-11
                                                                                                            • Brand Share—Standard Cookies

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Kraft Foods dominates segment as fastest-growing manufacturer
                                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Selected FDMx brand sales of standard cookies, 2010-11
                                                                                                                • Brand Share—Premium Cookies

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Despite a rough economy, premium segment sales fairly stable
                                                                                                                        • Figure 25: Selected FDMx brand sales of premium cookies, 2010-11
                                                                                                                    • Brand Share—Healthy Cookies

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Kraft Foods’ strong growth drives big share gain
                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Selected FDMx brand sales of healthy cookies, 2010-11
                                                                                                                        • Brand Share—Cookie Bars

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Nothing small about McKee Foods Corp.’s Little Debbie market share
                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Selected FDMx brand sales of cookie bars, 2010-11
                                                                                                                          • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • During 2008-12, introductions peaked in 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Cookie/cookie bar product launches, by top 10 claims, 2008-12*
                                                                                                                              • Chocolate is top new product flavor
                                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Cookie/cookie bar product launches, by top 10 flavors, 2008-12*
                                                                                                                              • Kraft Foods top company for introductions
                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Cookie/cookie bar product launches, by top 15 companies, 2008-12*
                                                                                                                              • Trader Joe’s tops brand ranking for cookie/cookie bar introductions
                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Cookie/cookie bar product launches, by top 15 brands, 2008-12*
                                                                                                                              • Growth of name brand introductions outpacing private label
                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Cookie/cookie bar product launches, by private label share, 2008-12*
                                                                                                                              • Product innovations
                                                                                                                                • Standard cookies
                                                                                                                                  • Premium cookies
                                                                                                                                    • Healthy cookies
                                                                                                                                      • Private label
                                                                                                                                        • Cookie bars
                                                                                                                                        • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Kraft Foods celebrating OREO’s 100th birthday
                                                                                                                                              • Keebler encouraging blood donations
                                                                                                                                                • Cookie/cookie bar consumers responsive to coupons
                                                                                                                                                  • TV advertising
                                                                                                                                                    • Nabisco OREO
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Nabisco/OREO, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                    • Pepperidge Farm Milano Melts
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Pepperidge Farm/Milano Melts, January 2012
                                                                                                                                                    • Nabisco Newtons Fruit Thins
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Nabisco/Newtons fruit thins, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Nabisco Chips Ahoy!
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Nabisco/Chips Ahoy!, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Household Usage

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Adult cookie usage by type shows little change in recent years
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Cookies (ready-to-eat), July 2007-September 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Brand usage—cookies (ready-to-eat), July 2007-September 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Kids’ cookie usage down slightly
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Cookies, July 2007-September 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Teens have highest package consumption levels
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Cookies (ready-to-eat), July 2007-September 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Consumption and Purchase Frequency

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Cookie consumption more frequent than cookie bars
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Consumption frequency, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Consumption frequency, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Consumption frequency, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Consumption frequency, by presence of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Younger consumers most likely to buy for others and guests
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Why consumers buy cookies for their household, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Why consumers buy cookies for their household, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Why consumers buy cookies for their households, by presence of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Purchase Behavior

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Prepackaged cookies generate highest purchase incidence
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Cookie/cookie bar types purchased, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Cookie/cookie bar types purchased, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Cookie/cookie bar types purchased, by presence of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Snack bars an occasional cookie/cookie bar alternative for younger consumers
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Purchase and consumption behavior, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Purchase and consumption behavior, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Purchase and consumption behavior, by presence of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Price/value and favored brands drive purchase decisions
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Purchase behavior, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Purchase behavior, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Cookie Characteristics of Importance

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Oldest consumers interested in nutritional attributes
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Attributes that matter to cookie consumers, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Attributes that matter to cookie consumers, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Other characteristics that matter, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Other characteristics that matter, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Other characteristics that matter, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Where Consumers Buy Cookies

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Supermarkets destination of choice but hardly only option
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Where consumers buy cookies, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Where consumers buy cookies, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Where consumers buy cookies, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Where consumers buy cookies, by presence of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Where consumers buy cookies, by region, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Eating Occasions

                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • Cookies/cookie bars eaten to satisfy hunger
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Eating occasions, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Eating occasions, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Eating occasions, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Asians most frequent cookie/cookie bar eaters
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Consumption frequency, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • Multicultural groups indicate preference for prepackaged cookies
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Types purchased, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • Asians show greater interest in BFY-type attributes
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 71: Other characteristics that matter, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 72: Attributes that matter to cookie consumers, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • Supermarkets format of choice for whites
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 73: Where consumers buy cookies, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • Cookie/cookie bar eating occasions differ by race/Hispanic origin
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 74: Eating occasions, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                      • Behavior/attitudes, by usage groups
                                                                                                                                                                        • Heavy cookie users seek convenience
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Types purchased, by custom consumer groups, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Heavy cookie users in tune with nutritional attributes
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 76: Attributes that matter to cookie consumers, by custom consumer groups, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Heavy cookie users most likely to try different flavors and types
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 77: Purchase and consumption behavior, by custom consumer groups, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Flavor type a key consideration for all user groups
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 78: Other characteristics that matter, by custom consumer groups, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Potential may be there to nurture light cookie users
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 79: Why consumers buy cookies for their household, by custom consumer groups, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                • Value important to all cookie user groups
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 80: Purchase behavior, by custom consumer groups, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Minimal difference for purchase location
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 81: Where consumers buy cookies, by custom consumer groups, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Light users consume when bored or traveling
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 82: Eating occasions, by custom consumer groups, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                  • SymphonyIRI/Builders—Key Household Purchase Measures

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cookies—U.S.
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cookies
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer insights on key purchase measures—cookies
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 83: Brand map—selected brands of cookie buying rate, by household penetration, 2011*
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Brand leader characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key purchase measures
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 84: Key purchase measures for the top brands of cookie, by household penetration, 2011*
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 85: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of private label cookies/cookie bars, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 86: Consumption frequency, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 87: Consumption frequency, by region, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 88: Types purchased, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 89: Purchase behavior among parents, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 90: Attributes that matter to cookie consumers, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 91: Where consumers buy cookies, by geography, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 92: Eating occasions, by region, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                            • American Bakers Association (ABA)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • American Heart Association, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • American Institute of Baking (AIB)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • American Society of Baking (ASB)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Biscuit & Cracker Manufacturer’s Association (B&CMA)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Food and Drug Administration
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Food Marketing Institute
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Kellogg Company
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Kinnikinnick Foods
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Kraft Foods Inc. (U.S.A.)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • McKee Foods Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                            • National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Nestlé USA
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Panera Bread Company
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Pepperidge Farm Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Procter & Gamble USA
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Ralcorp Holdings Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Small Planet Foods Inc. (Cascadian Farms)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Snack Food Association (SFA)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Supervalu Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                            • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Whole Foods Market Inc

                                                                                                                                                                                            Cookies and Cookie Bars - US - April 2012

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