Continual NPD keeps biscuits relevant

With major players investing heavily in the biscuit market, retailers should ensure their planogram is up to date and that space is dedicated to the many new products being launched, as well major sellers.

by Kevin Scott

The biscuits market is not one that is accustomed to upheaval but 2013 began with a major development as United Biscuits announced the re-launch of its McVitie’s brand, unveiling a £12m multi-media advertising campaign as part of its efforts to accelerate growth for the sweet biscuits category. All of this is good news for retailers. Representing the biggest campaign of its kind for United Biscuits to date, all of the company’s sweet products (with the exception of go ahead!) now sit under the McVitie’s brand, which the company says is part an overarching Masterbrand strategy to help simplify the shopping experience.

Three 30 second TV commercials are on air now, aiming to celebrate everyday biscuit eating moments and including the Digestive, Chocolate Digestive and Jaffa Cake brands. United Biscuits is also revitalising the design and packaging of the range to support the re-launch and realignment of all sweet products under the new McVitie’s Masterbrand, through the on-pack McVitie’s wholesome wheat sheaf logo. This follows the migration to flow-wrap packaging technology for the production of all Digestive brands, as part of a £35m investment plan at the company’s factory in Harlesden. The ‘Sweeet’ campaign will be also be supported by a dedicated programme of promotional in-store activity undertaken by United Biscuits at both major and independent retailers. United Biscuits CEO, Martin Glenn, comments: “Our Masterbrand campaign for McVitie’s is the result of 12 months of extensive customer research in which we aimed to get to the heart of the emotional role biscuits play in our lives. Thanks to the strength of our heritage range, McVitie’s has come to represent 40% of the everyday biscuits market in the UK.

The new campaign aims to tap into consumers’ love for these brands as well supporting our efforts to drive growth for the category.” Major new product development from the Burton’s Biscuit Company is also generating new profit opportunities for Scottish retailers. The company’s launch of Cathedral City Baked Bites, made with real Cathedral City cheddar, in an exclusive licensing agreement with Dairy Crest, the owners of Cathedral City, has introduced a new beacon brand to the £500m savoury biscuit category. The landmark partnership takes Cathedral City outside of the dairy category for the first time and will draw upon the brand’s exceptional consumer awareness, reputation for high quality and broad family appeal. Cathedral City Baked Bites are the only savoury snack biscuits made using real grated Cathedral City cheddar and are aimed at a broad spectrum of consumers (particularly families with children aged 10+) looking for new and exciting savoury snacks from a trusted brand.

They are available in a five snack pack bag with a rrp of £1.69, a large sharing bag with a rrp of £1.59 and a 35g grab bag with a rrp of £0.59. Mondelez International has also been busy. As well as extending its Belvita Breakfast range last year with an exclusive 150g format for the convenience channel, it also launched Oreo 2 Biscuit Snack Packs, for lunchboxes. The handy pack is available in Original and Chocolate Crème as a 220g multipack of 10 priced at £1.89 rrp. Retailers should also be sure to make their Borders Biscuits range visible. With 32 lines available, they continue to be hugely popular in convenience stores. Louise Creevy, Sales and Marketing Manager, Border Biscuits said: “We have successfully expanded the product portfolio with new varieties in the Classic range including Fruity Tea Biscuits, Chocolate Fruit & Nut Rubbles and Treacle Toffee, Devilishly Dark Chocolatey Cookies and Milk Choc Hazel Nut Case.”

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