'Biscuits are utterly trivial but immensely powerful': Key messages from pladis’ annual biscuits report

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

McVitie's maker pladis has unveiled its annual biscuit review that looks at the brands and trends that are shaping the biscuit category. Pic: ©GettyImages/monkeybusiness images
McVitie's maker pladis has unveiled its annual biscuit review that looks at the brands and trends that are shaping the biscuit category. Pic: ©GettyImages/monkeybusiness images
After a slump in 2016, pladis reported that biscuits returned to growth in 2017 with a slew of innovative new product launches.

The McVitie’s and Jacobs biscuit maker’s annual biscuit review reported innovation was back on track after a bad year in 2016.

“Innovation has played a key role within traditional snacking categories for a long time and last year was no different for biscuits,”​ said James Thomas, customer marketing director, pladis UK & Ireland.

According to Thomas, McVitie’s Digestive Thins and Oreo Thins were two of the top 10 new launches within FMCG.

The Brits love a biscuit

"Biscuits are utterly trivial but immensely powerful,"​ he added, noting that the average UK household purchased biscuits weekly, pushing category growth across all channels, translating into growth of over £60m ($84m), with retail sales now worth £2.5bn ($3.5bn).

Data showed that McVitie’s Digestive Thins claimed the title of biggest Sweet Biscuits launched in a decade with sales of £15m ($21m) in 2017, taking the top spot from 2016 leader McVitie’s Digestive Nibbles.

pladis remained the number one supplier within Sweet and Savory Biscuits, with a combined value of £550m ($776m).

Market megatrends

Claire Dunphy, category manager, pladis, reported there are a number of global megatrends that are starting to have an impact on the UK market.

It is no surprise that health and wellness tops the list of consumer demands.

“Free from is no longer a diet of necessity,”​ said Dunphy, noting there has also been a shift from do-no-harm choices such as low sugar, no additives and natural towards nourishing alternatives.

Consumers are also looking for innovative experiences and challenging flavors is becoming the norm.

Social responsibility is still high on the agenda, says pladis, with Fairtrade, organic and sustainable packaging and products all gaining popularity and shelf space.

Finally, to stay ahead, brands have to evolve to accommodate consumers’ ever-pacier lifestyles with on-the-go personalized products that are fresh and nutritious.

A detailed overview of ‘An Innovative Year for Biscuits 2017’ will follow next week.

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