The snacking category is showing no sign of slowing down with brands adapting quickly to potential HFSS restrictions in Scotland.
By Elena Dimama.
The biscuits and cakes segment continues to be key within the snacking category, emboldened by the festive season and the rise of homeworking.
Biscuits is the second largest snacking category in the UK, according to Kantar, nearly worth £3.3bn and with a sales growth at 2.5% in independent and symbol stores, according to Nielsen.
Regulations for food and drink high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS) have come into force in England, but the Scottish government has also recently closed a consultation on its proposals to restrict promotions on HFSS.
Defying the crisis
“Biscuits and cakes remain one of the few categories where shoppers are willing to spend money on treats, especially during tougher economic times,” Colin Taylor, Trade Marketing Director at Fox’s Burton’s Companies, says.
Fox’s Burton’s Companies’ sales growth of 4.7% over the last year has been driven by a strong core line performance including Maryland Cookies, which grew by 13.8% year on year (supported by new flavours and Minis), Jammie Dodgers up 13.3% (supported by minis and Choccie Dodgers) and Fox’s Fabulous Cookies (with the help of fabulous promotions and a new Millionaire’s cookie), according to Taylor.
To help bring innovation into the segment, Fox’s is launching Party Ring Choc Minis, containing five bags of cocoa biscuits with a choc twist on the icing.
“There were 238 million out-of-home sweet biscuit occasions last year. The ‘children’s biscuits’ segment of the market accounts for one-in-five occasions where biscuits are enjoyed out of home, especially for on-the-go snacking and treating. Brits spent £120m on ‘children’s biscuits’ last year, growing the segment’s value by 17%. Impulse outlets grew even faster at +29% year on year,” he adds.
Indeed, Kenton Burchell, Trading Director at Bestway Wholesale, also thinks that impulse will be one of the key sales drivers for cakes and biscuits.
“With the cost-of-living crisis, instore promotions will increase sales and attract customers who are reducing their spend on snacks,” he explains. “With the cost-of-living crisis, consumers will be on a budget and will be purchasing less on quantity.” He adds that retailers should utilise the space and location to stock products and make it easier for customers to navigate.
“Retailers will need to review their stock inventory on the range of products that are the best sellers for cakes and biscuits,” he says.
“Promotions and cross merchandising of categories, e.g. cakes and biscuits [should be] next to hot drinks, and teas and coffee categories,” he adds.
“We know many people have a hard time satisfying a broad range of sweet cravings without feeling guilt for indulging,” JP Del Carmen, Head of Snacks at General Mills, notes.
“Snackers are also looking for options that offer the taste experience of a traditionally more indulgent product. With this in mind, we took flavour inspiration from one of the more treat-led brands in the General Mills portfolio – Häagen-Dazs – for Fibre One 90 calorie Strawberry Cheesecake bars,” he adds.