The UK food spreads market witnessed sales increase by 5% in value terms through 2012, while experiencing a smaller increase in volume terms of 2%.
Spreads can be divided into sweet and savoury spreads. Sweet spreads include jams, marmalade, honey and chocolate spreads. The savoury sector is made up of cheese and yeast-based spreads, like Marmite.
With sweet spread consumption rooted in British culture, the challenge now is to increase the frequency of usage and encourage consumers to expand their repertoire beyond traditional favourites such as jam and cheese spreads.
Manufacturers are operating in a saturated market, where supermarkets' own brands are offering consumers similar quality at better value. This has been enticing consumers who are looking for bargains due to the economic crisis. The downturn has also seemingly decreased consumer penetration, with consumers no longer buying as many spreads as they used to.
Still, some products are very popular, with Nutella overtaking Marmite as the number one spread in the UK.
Peanut butter is also increasingly consumed at the expense of jams and marmalades. Manufacturers of these products, however, have not given up and have begun introducing jams and marmalades in easy-to-use, squeezy formats that do not cause a mess, as well as removing the 'bits', in order to target children.
Honey is also gaining prominence; revelations of the health benefits of consuming the product have driven sales.
Premier Foods Group Ltd retained its leading position in the United Kingdom spreads market in 2012, recording a 19% value share. However, the company has lost four percentage points in terms of value share since 2007.
Its main brands include Hartley's, Robertson's, Frank Cooper's, Rose's and Chivers in jams and preserves, which have a combined share of 32%, and Sun Pat, which recorded a 26% value share of the nut and seed based spreads category.
The big four grocery retailers, Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrisons and Walmart-owned ASDA, dominate the British sweet and savoury spreads market, accounting for over two thirds of sales.
For more information on the UK food spreads market, see the latest research: UK Food Spreads Market
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