United Biscuits (UB) has launched its Category Vision for 2016 and its first annual Biscuits Review.

Together, they demonstrate the strength, the depth and the potential for the £2.5 billion biscuits category to double its value and presence within the snacking market by 2020.

The UB 2016 Category Vision identifies seven key drivers of consumption and purchase that can collectively steer the sustainable growth of the biscuit market. From capitalising on the social trends for sharing and eating on-the-go to unlocking new eating occasions and gifting potential, UBs has used its extensive knowledge and experience as the category leader to pinpoint areas for development.

The Category Vision also specifies the need for stores to reconsider their in-shop displays to make the shopping experience easier and more engaging and to increase the 30 seconds that the average shopper spends in the biscuit aisle. UBs has identified that retailers need to re-connect with the shopper by offering contemporary and inspirational fixtures which encourage shoppers to browse for longer resulting in higher basket conversion.

United Biscuits director of customer marketing Sarah Lonorgan said: “We have a clear ambition in United Biscuits to be the leading authority on category and shopper insight in the UK. Success will depend on the way we anticipate and understand the future consumer, shopper and retail landscape and how we respond. Our Biscuits Review and Category Vision are both milestones in our commitment to delivering world class plans, products and services that inspire our customers and provide sustainable long term growth.

“When we compare the UK biscuit landscape to the other impulse categories, we can see there is so much more that we can do to grow its presence. We’ve got to bring fun, energy and inspiration to the point of purchase and create a more enjoyable shopping experience.” 

The 2015 Biscuits Review, the first of its kind by a major biscuit retailer, uses industry intelligence and research to uncover the current condition of the biscuit sector and its position within the snacking category. It also examines the social trends affecting how and when we consume biscuits in the UK. Key findings from the report include:

  • The £2.5 billion Biscuits category accounts for more than a quarter of the snacking market, with double the value growth of Confectionery
  • Biscuits enjoyed 99% penetration, with each household buying an average of 94 packets of biscuits per year, spending £94.25 each
  • Biscuits were eaten on 6 billion separate occasions throughout the year
  • Sweet Biscuits account for 80% of the biscuit category with savoury at 20%, although overall the savoury category performed better, growing by 5%
  • United Biscuits lead the market, holding nearly a quarter of the biscuit sector with a value of £580m, double the value of its biggest competitor. Private Label products account for almost 28% of biscuit sales, up 3% last year
  • Chocolate Biscuit Bars are the nation’s favourite biscuits with McVitie’s the leading brand
  • Within Sweet Biscuits, the top performing sector was Special Treats, up 3% last year
  • Everyday Biscuits saw a drop in sales as consumers chose quality over value
  • Children’s Biscuits were down 5%, reflecting healthier choices made by parents
  • United Biscuits was the leading manufacturer of Savoury Biscuits, increasing its sales by 6%. Jacob’s was the leading brand in this category, holding almost a 20% share of the Savoury category
  • Key trends which dictated consumer choice in 2015 included health consciousness, a priority for quality over value and a commitment to biscuits in a diverse snacking market

United Biscuits sales director UK & ROI Mark Winter said:“With snacking habits forecast to grow as consumers shift to more frequent, smaller meals and on-the-go eating, biscuits are well placed to continue their steady value growth evident over the past five years.

“If retailers can take advantage of the opportunities highlighted in the United Biscuits Category Vision, they will be able to maximise the huge prospects presented by the category to their significant benefit. We are delighted that feedback from our customers and retailers on the Category Vision has been extremely encouraging.”

To request a copy of the report, contact: Alastair Davis, Category Controller, United Biscuits alastair.davis@unitedbiscuits.com