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Sweet Biscuits and Snack Bars - UK - April 2018

“Both more indulgent features, such as a thick covering of chocolate and indulgent fillings, and naturally healthy ingredients, are of strong interest to eaters of sweet biscuits. Tailoring NPD to both these demands is needed to maximise the number of usage occasions for biscuits. Limiting the amount of sweet biscuits eaten is on the minds of most eaters, so products that offer portion control or that are a healthier substitute will appeal as permissible treats.”
–Richard Caines, Senior Food & Drink Analyst

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Focusing on indulgence offers a way to add value to sales
  • Catering for demand for better-for-you snacking important
  • Format development can help unlock more occasions

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Solid growth for sweet biscuits and cereal bars
              • Continuing NPD crucial to sales growth
                • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail value sales of sweet biscuits, breakfast biscuits and cereal/snack bars, 2012-22
              • Sweet biscuits show strong sales growth
                • Positive health perceptions and NPD help cereal bars
                  • Sugar reduction guideline set for biscuit companies
                    • Ageing population could limit sales growth
                      • Companies and brands
                        • McVitie’s Digestives has big lead in sweet biscuits
                          • Figure 2: Leading manufacturers’ sales in the regular sweet biscuits market, by value, 2017/18*
                        • KitKat accounts for a fifth of chocolate biscuit bar sales
                          • Figure 3: Leading manufacturers’ sales in the chocolate biscuit bars market, by value, 2017/18*
                        • Kellogg’s sales continue to decline
                          • Figure 4: Leading manufacturers’ sales in the breakfast biscuits and cereal/snack bars market, by value, 2017/18*
                        • Focus on more indulgent treats and new flavours
                          • Well-known brands move into biscuits and snack bars
                            • Cereal/snack bars look to on-trend flavours
                              • Protein and superfood ingredients feature in NPD
                                • The consumer
                                  • Sweet biscuits have almost universal appeal
                                    • Figure 5: Types of sweet biscuits and cereal/snack bars eaten in the last 3 months, February 2018
                                  • Just 9% of eaters snack on sweet biscuits daily
                                    • Figure 6: Frequency of eating sweet biscuits and cereal/snack bars, February 2018
                                  • Sweet biscuits have a place in out-of-home snacking
                                    • Indulgent and healthier options both wanted
                                      • Interest in more flavours and texture combinations
                                        • Figure 7: Interest in product features for sweet biscuits, February 2018
                                      • High incidence of trying new products
                                        • Seven in 10 limit their eating of biscuits
                                          • Biscuits not just for sharing for most people
                                            • Figure 8: Behaviour in relation to sweet biscuits and cereal/snack bars, February 2018
                                          • Handmade biscuits and nicer packaging give premium cues
                                            • A raft of products compete for sharing occasions
                                              • Figure 9: Attitudes towards sweet biscuits and cereal/snack bars, February 2018
                                            • What we think
                                            • Issues and Insights

                                              • Focusing on indulgence offers a way to add value to sales
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                    • Catering for demand for better-for-you snacking important
                                                      • The facts
                                                        • The implications
                                                          • Format development can help unlock more occasions
                                                            • The facts
                                                              • The implications
                                                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                                • Solid sales growth for sweet biscuits and cereal bars
                                                                  • Biscuits face challenge to grow volume sales
                                                                    • Continuing NPD crucial to sales growth
                                                                      • Sweet biscuits enjoy strong sales growth
                                                                        • Positive health perceptions and NPD help cereal bars
                                                                          • Sugar reduction guideline set for biscuit companies
                                                                            • War on sugar fuels consumer concern about ingredients
                                                                              • Snacking culture drives demand for biscuits
                                                                                • Ageing population could limit sales growth
                                                                                  • Growth in child population important
                                                                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                    • Sweet biscuits and cereal bars record solid sales growth
                                                                                      • Figure 10: Total UK retail volume and value sales of sweet biscuits, breakfast biscuits and cereal/snack bars, 2012-22
                                                                                    • Biscuits face challenge increasing volume sales
                                                                                      • Figure 11: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail value sales of sweet biscuits, breakfast biscuits and cereal/snack bars, 2012-22
                                                                                      • Figure 12: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK retail volume sales of sweet biscuits, breakfast biscuits and cereal/snack bars, 2012-22
                                                                                    • Forecast methodology
                                                                                    • Segment Performance

                                                                                      • Sweet biscuits show strong sales growth
                                                                                        • Figure 13: Total UK retail volume and value sales of sweet biscuits, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Figure 14: UK retail value and volume sales of sweet biscuits, by biscuits and chocolate biscuit bars, 2015-17
                                                                                      • Spotlight on sugar stands to curb volume growth
                                                                                        • Figure 15: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail value sales of sweet biscuits, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Figure 16: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail volume sales of sweet biscuits, 2012-22
                                                                                      • Positive health perceptions and NPD helping cereal bars
                                                                                        • Figure 17: Total UK retail volume and value sales of breakfast biscuits and cereal/snack bars, 2012-22
                                                                                      • Guilt-free image should support future demand
                                                                                        • Figure 18: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail value sales of breakfast biscuits and cereal/snack bars, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Figure 19: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail volume sales of breakfast biscuits and cereal/snack bars, 2012-22
                                                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                                                      • Sugar reduction a challenge for biscuit companies
                                                                                        • Government sets 2020 targets
                                                                                          • PHE encouraging healthier kids’ snacking
                                                                                            • Sugar also a big concern for consumers
                                                                                              • Figure 20: Top five factors deemed important when looking for healthy food, November 2017
                                                                                            • Snacking culture important for biscuit sales
                                                                                                • Figure 21: Attributes important when looking for a snack, February 2018
                                                                                              • Home baking only a small threat to biscuit sales
                                                                                                • Figure 22: 'I bake sweet biscuits/cookies at home’, by age, February 2018
                                                                                              • Ageing population could limit sales growth
                                                                                                • Growth in child population important
                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Trends in age structure of the UK population, 2012-22
                                                                                              • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                • McVitie’s Digestives has big lead in sweet biscuits
                                                                                                  • KitKat accounts for a fifth of chocolate biscuit bar sales
                                                                                                    • Kellogg’s sales continue to decline
                                                                                                      • Focus on more indulgent treats
                                                                                                        • New flavours look to add more excitement
                                                                                                          • Well-known brands move into biscuits and snack bars
                                                                                                            • Cereal/snack bars look to on-trend flavours and ingredients
                                                                                                              • Protein and superfood ingredients features of NPD
                                                                                                                • Marked increase in 2017 advertising spending
                                                                                                                  • McVitie’s stands for quality and good value
                                                                                                                  • Market Share

                                                                                                                    • McVitie’s Digestives has big lead in sweet biscuits
                                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Leading brands’ sales in the sweet biscuits market, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                                    • Mixed fortunes in chocolate biscuit bars
                                                                                                                      • Figure 25: Leading brands’ sales in the chocolate biscuit bars market, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                                    • Kellogg’s sales continue to decline
                                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Leading brands’ sales in the breakfast biscuits and cereal/snack bars market, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                                  • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                    • Focus on indulgent treats
                                                                                                                      • Melting middles add more texture variety
                                                                                                                        • New flavours being used to add more excitement
                                                                                                                          • More Thins ranges launched
                                                                                                                            • Bites and mini biscuits add more variety
                                                                                                                              • New entries and brand extensions
                                                                                                                                • Nutella moves into biscuit bars
                                                                                                                                  • Chocolate brands expand their presence in biscuits
                                                                                                                                    • Range of gluten-free products increasing
                                                                                                                                      • Belvita adds new products to breakfast range
                                                                                                                                        • Mars launches Goodness Knows
                                                                                                                                          • Major brands look to on-trend flavours and ingredients
                                                                                                                                            • On-trend flavours appear in bars
                                                                                                                                              • Products with ‘protein’ labels a continuing feature of NPD
                                                                                                                                                • Superfood ingredients can help give products standout
                                                                                                                                                  • PHE’s 2020 target ups the pressure for sugar reduction
                                                                                                                                                    • New recipe for Kellogg’s range
                                                                                                                                                      • 28% of biscuit launches meet PHE target
                                                                                                                                                      • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                                        • Marked increase in 2017 advertising spending
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on sweet biscuits, shortbread, cereal bars and breakfast biscuits, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Share of total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on sweet biscuits, shortbread, cereal bars and breakfast biscuits, by segment, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                        • Mondelēz leads spending in sweet biscuits
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on sweet biscuits and shortbread, by top 10 advertisers (sorted by 2017), 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                        • Oreo most heavily supported brand
                                                                                                                                                          • Nibbles accounts for biggest part of McVitie’s ‘Sweeet’ advertising
                                                                                                                                                            • Bahlsen increases advertising support
                                                                                                                                                              • Border Biscuits takes nostalgic theme
                                                                                                                                                                • Lotus Biscoff looks to appeal to younger audience
                                                                                                                                                                  • Return to advertising for Maryland in 2018
                                                                                                                                                                    • Big increase in spending for cereal bars and breakfast biscuits
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on cereal bars and breakfast biscuits, by advertiser, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                    • Belvita pushes Good Mornings campaign
                                                                                                                                                                      • Big support for Nutella B-Ready launch
                                                                                                                                                                        • Tennis tie-ups for Nature Valley
                                                                                                                                                                          • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                                                          • Brand Research

                                                                                                                                                                              • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                              • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Key metrics for selected brands, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                              • Brand attitudes: Oreo seen as a more innovative brand
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Attitudes, by brand, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                              • Brand personality: Cadbury Biscuits the most fun brand
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Brand personality – Macro image, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                              • McVitie’s most traditional and family brand
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Brand personality – Micro image, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                              • Brand analysis
                                                                                                                                                                                • Cadbury Biscuits the most delicious and indulgent brand
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: User profile of Cadbury Biscuits, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                • McVitie’s offers the best value
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: User profile of McVitie’s, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                • Fox’s seen as a traditional and family brand
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: User profile of Fox’s, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                • Being indulgent a key strength for Bahlsen
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: User profile of Bahlsen, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                • Maryland good value but less innovative
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: User profile of Maryland, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                • Oreo seen as innovative, fun and most cool brand
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: User profile of Oreo, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                                                • Sweet biscuits have almost universal appeal
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Just 9% of eaters snack on sweet biscuits daily
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sweet biscuits have a place in out-of-home snacking
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Indulgent and healthier options both wanted
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Interest in more flavours and texture combinations
                                                                                                                                                                                          • High incidence of trying new products
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Seven in 10 limit their eating of biscuits
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Biscuits not just for sharing for most people
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Handmade biscuits and nicer packaging give premium cues
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • A raft of products compete for sharing occasions
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Eating of Sweet Biscuits and Cereal/Snack Bars

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sweet biscuits have almost universal appeal
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Number of different types of sweet biscuits and cereal/snack bars eaten in the last 3 months, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Seven in 10 Brits eat chocolate biscuits
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 43: Types of sweet biscuits and cereal/snack bars eaten in the last 3 months, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Frequency of Eating Sweet Biscuits and Cereal/Snack Bars

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Few eaters snack on biscuits more than three times a week
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Frequency of eating sweet biscuits and cereal/snack bars, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • When People Eat Sweet Biscuits and Cereal/Snack Bars

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sweet biscuits make inroads into out-of-home snacking
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: When people eat sweet biscuits and cereal/snack bars, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cereal/snack bars a popular breakfast option
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Breakfast biscuits are not just for breakfast
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Interest in Product Features

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Indulgent and healthier options both wanted
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Demand for thick chocolate blurs category boundaries
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Interest in product features for sweet biscuits, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Wholegrain, fruit pieces and oats appeal
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Interest in more flavours and texture combinations
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer Behaviour in Relation to Sweet Biscuits and Cereal/Snack Bars

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • High incidence of trying new products fuels need for constant NPD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Behaviour in relation to sweet biscuits and cereal/snack bars, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Seven in 10 limit their eating of biscuits
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Biscuits are not just for sharing for most people
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards Sweet Biscuits and Cereal/Snack Bars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Handmade sweet biscuits and nicer packaging give premium cues
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Attitudes towards sweet biscuits and cereal/snack bars, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • A raft of products compete for sharing occasions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Younger people are most drawn to indulgent and guilt-free options
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail value sales of sweet biscuits, breakfast biscuits and cereal/snack bars, 2012-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail volume sales of sweet biscuits, breakfast biscuits and cereal/snack bars, 2012-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Segment Performance

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail value sales of sweet biscuits, 2012-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail volume sales of sweet biscuits, 2012-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail value sales of breakfast biscuits and cereal/snack bars, 2012-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail volume sales of breakfast biscuits and cereal/snack bars, 2012-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Market Share

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Leading manufacturers’ sales in the regular sweet biscuits market, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Leading manufacturers’ sales in the chocolate biscuit bars market, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Leading manufacturers’ sales in the breakfast biscuits and cereal/snack bars, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: New product launches in the UK sweet biscuits/cookies market, share by top 15 companies*, January 2013-December 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: New product launches in the UK sweet biscuits/cookies market, share by top 15 claims*, January 2013-December 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: New product launches in the UK snack/cereal/energy bars, share by top 15 companies*, January 2013-December 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: New product launches in the UK snack/cereal/energy bars, share by top 15 claims*, January 2013-December 2017

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sweet Biscuits and Snack Bars - UK - April 2018

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