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Savoury Biscuits - UK - March 2019

Covered in this report

This report examines the UK retail market for non-sweet biscuits. The market size includes products sold through the retail channel, including:

  • Crackers and crispbreads: includes savoury cracker biscuits, crispbreads, toasts, crisp rolls and matzos (eg Cream Crackers and Water Biscuits)
  • Savoury biscuits: including cheese-flavoured biscuits, thins, oatcakes, flavoured biscuits (not crackers), cheese straws, breadsticks and sesame seed biscuits
  • Rice cakes: including rice cakes and rice crackers

“The dependency on evening snacking for usage has left savoury biscuits vulnerable to competition from other snacks vying for the same occasion. Inspiring people to explore toppings other than cheese and to use savoury biscuits in different ways is needed to build usage for other meal occasions. As recipe suggestions are already widely available, disrupting people’s habits will be important, for example through in-store activity. Harnessing the buzz around fibre and gut health should also boost the category’s appeal.”
– Anita Winther, Research Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Spotlight on fibre is an opportunity the category needs to harness
  • Pushing more variation in toppings is needed to unlock more occasions
  • Convenience warrants attention for category to tap on-the-go consumption

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Volumes fall for savoury biscuits
              • Downwards volume trend will continue
                • Figure 1: Forecast of UK retail value sales of savoury biscuits, 2013-23
              • PHE focuses on calories
                • Health benefits of fibre capture headlines
                  • Mounting pressure for improved sustainability of packaging
                    • Companies and brands
                      • Own-label wins, leading brands see sales slump
                        • Gluten-free brands defy category trend
                          • Figure 2: Leading brands’ shares of value sales in the UK savoury biscuits market, 2018*
                        • Protein and pulse trends embraced by savoury biscuits
                          • Seeds and ancient grains remain NPD trends
                            • Above-the-line support is cut
                              • Ryvita teams up with Davina McCall
                                • Quality, accessibility and trust underpin Jacob’s lead
                                  • Figure 3: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, February 2019
                                • The consumer
                                  • Affluent consumers are key users
                                    • 25-34 year olds have highest frequencies
                                      • Figure 4: Frequency of eating types of savoury biscuits, December 2018
                                    • The evening is key eating occasion
                                      • Morning occasions lag behind
                                        • Figure 5: When savoury biscuits are eaten, December 2018
                                      • Cheese is top pairing
                                        • Category needs to encourage greater topping creativity
                                          • Figure 6: How savoury biscuits are eaten, December 2018
                                        • Alcohol pairings attract interest
                                          • Figure 7: Behaviours relating to savoury biscuits, December 2018
                                        • Healthier image of savoury biscuits is well established
                                          • Figure 8: Attitudes towards savoury biscuits, December 2018
                                        • Savoury biscuit shoppers are price-driven
                                          • Resealability could boost use for snack occasions
                                            • Figure 9: Important choice factors when buying savoury biscuits, December 2018
                                          • Health-boosting herbs and spices garner interest
                                            • Filled sandwich biscuits can unlock on-the-go consumption
                                              • Figure 10: Interest in savoury biscuits product concepts, December 2018
                                            • What we think
                                            • Issues and Insights

                                              • Spotlight on fibre is an opportunity the category needs to harness
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                    • Pushing more variation in toppings is needed to unlock more occasions
                                                      • The facts
                                                        • The implications
                                                          • Convenience warrants attention for category to tap on-the-go consumption
                                                            • The facts
                                                              • The implications
                                                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                                • Volumes fall for savoury biscuits
                                                                  • Downwards volume trend will continue
                                                                    • PHE focuses on calories
                                                                      • Health benefits of fibre capture headlines
                                                                        • Mounting pressure for improved sustainability of packaging
                                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                          • Savoury biscuit volume sales fall
                                                                            • Competition is fierce for snack occasions
                                                                              • Efforts to branch out to lunch continue
                                                                                • Inflation supports values
                                                                                  • Figure 11: UK retail value and volume sales of savoury biscuits, 2013-23
                                                                                • The future
                                                                                    • Figure 12: Forecast of UK retail value sales of savoury biscuits, 2013-23
                                                                                    • Figure 13: Forecast of UK retail volume sales of savoury biscuits, 2013-23
                                                                                  • Forecast methodology
                                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                                    • Reducing obesity levels remains high on the agenda
                                                                                      • Sugar remains in the spotlight
                                                                                        • PHE launches calorie advice
                                                                                          • Savoury biscuits challenged to reduce calories by 20%
                                                                                            • Salt reduction target missed by savoury biscuits
                                                                                              • The benefits of fibre hit the headlines
                                                                                                • Focus on gut health should benefit high-fibre foods
                                                                                                  • Advertising can boost the appeal of high-fibre savoury biscuits
                                                                                                    • Figure 14: Nairn’s 21 Day Challenge, 2019
                                                                                                  • Gluten-free market continues to grow
                                                                                                    • Plastic packaging waste is in the spotlight
                                                                                                      • Mounting pressure on manufacturers to improve the green credentials of their packaging
                                                                                                        • Pladis signs up to UK Plastic Pact
                                                                                                          • Brexit uncertainty continues
                                                                                                            • A squeeze on incomes could push savoury biscuits out of purchasing repertoires
                                                                                                            • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                              • Own-label wins, leading brands see sales slump
                                                                                                                • Gluten-free brands defy category trend
                                                                                                                  • Protein and pulse trends embraced by savoury biscuits
                                                                                                                    • Seeds and ancient grains remain NPD trends
                                                                                                                      • Above-the-line support is cut
                                                                                                                        • Ryvita teams up with Davina McCall
                                                                                                                          • Quality, accessibility and trust underpin Jacob’s lead
                                                                                                                          • Market Share

                                                                                                                            • Own-label is the big winner
                                                                                                                              • Jacob’s and Ryvita see sales shrink
                                                                                                                                • Figure 15: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK savoury biscuits market, by value and volume, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                              • Gluten-free brands buck trend
                                                                                                                                • Snack a Jacks repack puts emphasis on health credentials
                                                                                                                                • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                  • Relaunches grow share in 2018
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 16: Share of new product launches in the UK savoury biscuits market, by launch type, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Ryvita and Jacob’s packaging relaunches, 2018 and 2019
                                                                                                                                  • Savoury biscuit brands embrace protein trend
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Ryvita Protein launch, 2018
                                                                                                                                  • Operators spotlight pulses for protein halo
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Savoury biscuit launches featuring lentils or chickpeas, 2018
                                                                                                                                  • Vegetables get a starring role in savoury biscuits
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Savoury biscuit launches featuring vegetables, 2017 and 2019
                                                                                                                                  • Seeds remain a popular ingredient
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 21: Share of new product launches in the UK savoury biscuits market with seeds in the ingredients, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                    • Operators explore alternative grains
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Savoury biscuit launches featuring ancient grains, 2017-19
                                                                                                                                      • Jacob’s launches sourdough option
                                                                                                                                        • Smaller brands explore sprouting
                                                                                                                                          • Oat and rye feature in new formats
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Savoury biscuit launches featuring sourdough, sprouted grains or grains used in new formats, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                          • Bites formats blur the line with savoury snacks
                                                                                                                                            • Marmite makes breakfast biscuit debut
                                                                                                                                              • Chilli continues to inspire flavour launches
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Flavour innovations in savoury biscuits, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Iceland rolls out palm oil-free variants
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Iceland palm oil-free cracker launch, 2018
                                                                                                                                            • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                              • Category cuts spend through traditional advertising channels
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on crackers, crispbread and breadsticks, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                              • Ryvita is main brand driving category visibility
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Ryvita’s social media activity with Davina McCall, January and February 2019
                                                                                                                                              • Ryvita teams up with Cancer Research UK
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on crackers, crispbread and breadsticks, by top 10 advertisers, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                              • Nairn’s looks to improve the nation’s mood and gut health
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Nairn’s ‘Good Gut Feeling’ campaign, 2018
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Nairn’s ‘Good Food Mood’ campaign, 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Kallo encourages swaps to lighter options
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Kallo’s ‘Snack Swap’ campaign and Get The Gloss sponsored content, 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Peter’s Yard highlights natural and lighter credentials
                                                                                                                                                • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                                • Brand Research

                                                                                                                                                    • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Key metrics for selected brands, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Brand attitudes: Jacob’s enjoys lead in trust, quality and value perceptions
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Attitudes, by brand, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Brand personality: Ritz is seen as fun and accessible
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Brand personality – macro image, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Ryvita enjoys image as healthy and natural
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Brand personality – micro image, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Brand analysis
                                                                                                                                                      • Jacob’s lead is cemented in quality, accessibility and trust
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: User profile of Jacob’s, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Ritz is seen as fun and indulgent, but struggles on health
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: User profile of Ritz, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Nairn’s brand image curtailed by limited experience
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: User profile of Nairn’s, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Ryvita stands out as healthy and natural
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: User profile of Ryvita, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Snack a Jacks is seen as fun and accessible
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: User profile of Snack a Jacks, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                      • Affluent consumers are key users
                                                                                                                                                        • 25-34 year olds have highest frequencies
                                                                                                                                                          • The evening is key eating occasion
                                                                                                                                                            • Morning occasions lag behind
                                                                                                                                                              • Cheese is top pairing
                                                                                                                                                                • Category needs to encourage greater topping creativity
                                                                                                                                                                  • Alcohol pairings attract interest
                                                                                                                                                                    • Healthier image of savoury biscuits is well established
                                                                                                                                                                      • Savoury biscuit shoppers are price-driven
                                                                                                                                                                        • Resealability could boost use for snack occasions
                                                                                                                                                                          • Health-boosting herbs and spices garner interest
                                                                                                                                                                            • Filled sandwich biscuits can unlock on-the-go consumption
                                                                                                                                                                            • Frequency of Eating Savoury Biscuits

                                                                                                                                                                              • Most Brits eat savoury biscuits
                                                                                                                                                                                • Affluent consumers are key users
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Repertoire of types of savoury biscuits eaten, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                • Plain crackers are most popular type
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Oatcakes and rice cakes trail behind
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Frequency of eating types of savoury biscuits, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Low frequencies are a challenge to spur growth
                                                                                                                                                                                    • 25-34 year olds have highest frequencies
                                                                                                                                                                                    • When Savoury Biscuits are Eaten

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Usage occasions are limited
                                                                                                                                                                                        • The evening is key eating occasion
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sweet toppings should increase evening use among the young
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: When savoury biscuits are eaten, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Afternoon snacking is key occasion for young women
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Morning occasions lag behind
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Breakfast- and brunch-oriented suggestions for toppings can help boost usage
                                                                                                                                                                                                • More convenience-led NPD is needed
                                                                                                                                                                                                • How Savoury Biscuits are Eaten

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cheese is top pairing
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Advice for cheese pairings garners interest
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Specific on-pack advice is rare
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Examples of on-pack cheese pairing advice on UK savoury biscuit launches, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: How savoury biscuits are eaten, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • NPD helps support un-topped snacking
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Pushing more topping creativity is needed to unlock more occasions
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Heated biscuit suggestions have potential
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Behaviours Relating to Savoury Biscuits

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Interest in beans and pulses extends to savoury biscuits
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Behaviours relating to savoury biscuits, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Alcohol pairings attract interest
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Examples of on-pack drinks pairing advice on UK savoury biscuit launches, 2018 and 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards Savoury Biscuits

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Healthier image of savoury biscuits is well established
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Attitudes towards savoury biscuits, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Seeds spark interest
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Purchase Factors for Savoury Biscuits

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Savoury biscuit shoppers are price-driven
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Important choice factors when buying savoury biscuits, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Taste and excitement also drive purchase intent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: How branded and own-label savoury biscuits score on the top four attributes correlating to purchase intent in the category, April 2018-February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Over-45s are most brand-loyal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Naturalness holds sway
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Examples of transparent ingredients lists, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Resealability can help drive up use for snacking occasions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Interest in Savoury Biscuit Concepts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Health-boosting herbs and spices garner interest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Examples of turmeric and ginger flavours in savoury biscuit launches, 2014 and 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Scope to spotlight spices in world cuisine flavours
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Interest in savoury biscuits product concepts, December 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Filled sandwich biscuits can unlock on-the-go consumption
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Wasa Sandwich filled crispbreads, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Gut health messages resonate in category
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Scope for retailers to bake savoury biscuits fresh in-store
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Total UK retail value sales of savoury biscuits, best- and worst-case forecast, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Total UK retail volume sales of savoury biscuits, best- and worst-case forecast, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Share

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK savoury biscuits market, by value and volume, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Share of new product launches in the UK savoury biscuits market, by top 10 companies (sorted by 2018), 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Share of new product launches in the UK savoury biscuits market, by top 10 claims, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Share of new product launches in the UK savoury biscuits market, by top 15 flavour components, 2014-18

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Savoury Biscuits - UK - March 2019

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