Cookies and Cookie Bars - US - March 2013
"Consumers are paying more attention to their health due to a rising level of awareness regarding the poor nutritional state of our nation, most specifically among children. As consumers more actively engage with their need to eat healthy, the cookie market finds itself in a risky position; cookies, even so-called healthy cookies, are not exactly known to be a healthy part of consumers’ diet."
– John N. Frank, Category Manager, Food and Drink
Some questions answered in this report include:
- Are healthy cookies really healthy?
- What are consumers looking for when leaving room for indulgences?
- When marketing health attributes of cookies, how far is too far?
U.S. sales of cookies and cookie bars represent a $7 billion market and sales are gaining momentum. This report provides an in-depth look at sales trends, product segmentation, distribution channels, leading companies and consumer behaviors. Readers of this report will gain an understanding of what factors are shaping the cookie and cookie bar market today along with insight into marketing strategies aimed at future opportunities. A sampling of questions raised and answered includes:
Cookie sales have increased steadily following the recession. What factors will play a role in future sales?
Standard cookies, led by household brands such as OREO, dominate the market and continue to show sales growth.
- How do the major brands continue to expand?
- Healthier cookie varieties are one of the fastest growing segments. How has an “unhealthy” product like cookies benefited from increased health awareness?
- The leading cookie manufacturers control the majority of the market. What product innovations and marketing strategies are they implementing?
- Cookies are eaten by four out of five consumers and are likely to be eaten as an occasional treat. How can marketers expand the variety of eating occasions?
- Nearly half of consumers keep a mostly healthy diet. How do cookie indulgences fit into the lifestyle of a more health-conscious consumer?
- Taste is a dominant reason why consumers eat cookies. What innovations in new products and tastes are consumers looking for?
- Value plays an important role in cookie sales. How can promotional pricing or private label products be customized to provide the most benefit?
For the purposes of this report, Mintel divides the cookie/cookie bar market into the following four primary segments:
- Standard cookies: These are typically cookies from popular mainstream brands (e.g., Nabisco OREO and Keebler Chips Deluxe). These cookie products are distinguished primarily by what they are not (e.g., they do not claim premium ingredients, any health positioning, and aren’t formulated as cookie bars).
- Premium cookies: These products represent the more indulgent end of the cookie market and, as such, sell for higher retail prices than standard cookies. Many imported brands are included in this segment as well.The premium segment includes international-style cookies, such as Italian biscotti and French palmiers, and includes brands such as Pepperidge Farm Milanos.
- Healthy cookies: This segment includes cookies that are positioned as “good for you,” either through added ingredients, the lack of certain ingredients, or through ingredients/processes generally perceived by consumers as more healthful (e.g., organic). The segment includes cookies formulated to address specific health conditions, like diabetes or celiac disease. The segment includes: organic; sugar-free; fat-free or low-fat; low-carb or no-carb; no-allergen; or nutritionally fortified cookies. Brands in this segment include Newman’s Own Organics and Nabisco SnackWell’s.
- Cookie bars: The only cookie segment distinguished by form. The segment includes larger, individually wrapped cookie products. In addition to bar-shaped, cookie-based products, the segment encompasses large, individually wrapped cookie sandwiches, and cookie/candy bar hybrids. The segment includes brands such as Keebler Fudge Shoppe Fudge Sticks and Little Debbie Nutty Bars. Private Label: This segment includes cookies of all variety which are sold under private label.
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This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.
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