The trend in the UK for healthy eating has not had a major impact on the sale of sweet biscuits, according to a 2019 report by The Grocer.
The figures show that sweet product lines amassed over £32.1 million in sales throughout 2019.
Sweet biscuits, savoury biscuits, and cereal bars all reported increases in sales during the past year, with some brands profiting while others fell short.
There is increasing evidence of ‘portion control’.
People are eating healthier and taking more notice of the ingredients, sugar content, and fat content in treats and snacks.
Having said that, high-sugar biscuits are still performing well.
One observation is that people are moving towards more ‘experience snacking’.
That is, snacking fewer times but wanting a luxurious, tasteful experience when they do.
Cheaper own labels are performing well as people look to save money.
Chocolate digestives lost ground to own-brand biscuits in the major supermarkets and discounters.
The brands struggling in 2019 tended to be those that are not particularly indulgent or healthy.
These everyday biscuits that occupy the middle ground of the market have suffered the most throughout 2019.
Flipz from Pladis has performed well in the UK in 2019, amassing £15 million in sales – a massive increase of 283.5% from the previous year.
Other solid performers include Oreo with a 10% increase in sales, and Lotus Biscoff, with a 45.3% change from the previous year.
Bahlsen did well too and saw a 7.4% increase with their luxury-style chocolate covered biscuits.
McVitie’s, the biggest-seller in the category, have seen a -0.5% loss in sales, despite having overwhelmingly the largest market share.
Go Ahead and Blue Riband have also suffered a reduction in sales, even with their low-calorie, ‘less fat’ advertising.
The evidence suggests shoppers are leaning towards luxury brands, savoury biscuits and healthy cereal bars.
Mondelez’s Ritz brand has seen huge growth in 2019, increasing 15.6% in sales volume.
The low-fat marketing approach has made a big impact with shoppers, who are promised the same taste with far healthier ingredients – up to 70% less fat than most competing brands.
Own-label savoury biscuits have also seen impressive performance, with a 6.2% change as people’s tastes and preferences have become more complex to demand interesting flavours, ingredients, and texture.
The market for cereal bars has seen some winners and losers in 2019.
Belvita from Mondalez had a 6.8% sales increase, while own label brands witnessed a huge 16% change from the previous year.
Nutty Crunch from Go Ahead, with less than 100 calories per bar, had a 17.6% increase in sales.
It seems the key driver for growth in the cereal bars market is healthy ingredients, low fat, and low calories.
Notable losers include Nature Valley with a -3.8% reduction in sales, and Alpen, with a -4.9% loss.
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