UK biscuit market led by iconic brands such as McVitie's Digestive, Mini Cheddars and Hob Nobs

Press Release   •   Feb 21, 2013 10:23 GMT

The UK biscuit market saw constant value growth of 6% through 2012, to reach a value of £2.3 billion.

Britons can't resist a biscuit with a hot drink as more than half the nation (54%) admits enjoying a biscuit with their cuppa.

The biscuits category has greatly benefited from the volume decline within the cakes sector, a category in which products are more expensive, and less healthy.

Biscuits have much stronger brand presence and market penetration, and can attract fierce loyalty among some consumers. This, combined with aggressive price promotions, has helped to maintain sales.

Healthier biscuits are the most prominent in the segment, though the growth of this sector has slowed. Although consumers are increasingly health conscious and demand healthier options, they are willing to treat themselves to all-kinds of biscuits.

Half-coated biscuits - such as chocolate digestives - and individually wrapped varieties are in joint first position as the nation's favourite sweet biscuit - more than one in two Brits (53%) have brought one or other of these in the past year.

The next most popular biscuits are cookies - such as chocolate chip cookies - enjoyed by 42 per cent of us, while cream biscuits - such as Custard Creams - take third position (39%). Meanwhile, sweetmeal or wholemeal biscuits are in at fourth place (36%) and tea biscuits take fifth place (34%).

Seasonal biscuits, special treats and children's biscuits are the fastest growing categories in the biscuits market.

Sales of 14 of the UK's top 20 biscuit brands - including Hobnobs, Jaffa Cakes and Kit Kat - dipped in 2012, as shoppers trade down to own label and retailers pull back on multibuys.

United Biscuits (UK) Ltd continued to lead the United Kingdom biscuits market with a 26% value share in 2012. The company benefits from iconic brands such as McVitie's Digestive, Jacob's, Mini Cheddars and McVitie's Hob Nobs amongst others, as well as the healthier Go Ahead! Brand.

The spread of brands between different categories within biscuits in the UK helps the company maintain its overall position in the country, although its actual share fell by one percentage point in 2012 as some consumers opted for lower cost private label options.

McVitie's Digestive has the largest brand share in value terms (6%) amongst all biscuits brands in the UK.

Strong growth has been forecast for the UK biscuit market, due in part to premiumisation, thanks to the dual impact of the indulgence trend and the health and wellness trend.

For more information on the UK biscuit market, see the latest research: UK Biscuit Market

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