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Discounters Drive Growth As Shoppers Opt For Smaller Packs

By Donna Ahern
Discounters Drive Growth As Shoppers Opt For Smaller Packs

While many consumers are on a mission to significantly reduce or completely eradicate sugar from their diets, there is still a healthy demand for sweet treats, especially biscuits, writes Maev Martin 

We know that consumers lockdown, when home baking became one of the The Mordor report also says that frequent often comfort eat in times of crisis.

It is not surprising, therefore, that figures from Kantar show that chocolate biscuits, and everyday treats such as chocolate digestives and cookies, experienced value growth of over 30% in the four weeks up to 22 March, which was ahead of total grocery growth during that period.

More recently, Nielsen Total Scantrack data to 17 May 2020 (Multiples, excluding Dunnes, Symbol Groups, Forecourts, and Discounters) reveals that the biscuits market in the Republic of Ireland was worth €268 million in the latest 52 weeks.

This is 5.6% increase compared to the same period last year. Not surprisingly, the Nielsen figures also reveal that this growth has risen by 11% in the latest 12 weeks compared to the same period last year.

Multiples, excluding Dunnes Stores, account for 43% of sales in the latest 52 weeks, followed by discounters at 33%, and symbol groups and forecourts at 24%. Private label accounts for 41% of biscuit value sales and for 65% of biscuit volume sales.

What the Nielsen data also reveals is that discounters are driving market value growth in the latest 52 weeks at +12% compared to the same period last year.

A total of 212.7 million packs of biscuits were sold in the Republic of Ireland in the latest 52 weeks, +6.4% compared to last year. However, looking at volume (kg), sales only increased +4.7%, indicating that shoppers are opting for slightly smaller pack sizes.

Of course, the shift in consumption trends towards bakery products, including sweet biscuits, has given the biscuit market a boost.

This boost was further accelerated in quite a dramatic fashion in this country during the recent most popular activities among Irish consumers.

Speaking following the publication of the most recent market share figures from Kantar earlier this month, which placed SuperValu in the number one position for the second month in a row, SuperValu managing director Martin Kelleher pointed out that the sales increase that they experienced was driven by a change in shopper behaviour, with a shift from fresh food to other categories, including baking.

SuperValu reported that in their baking category, sales of flour alone had risen by 200% and they had also seen a rise in demand for related products such as toppings, mini marshmallows, raising agents, flavourings and food colourings.

This move towards home baking and the consequent impact on sales of products in this category has been experienced by other grocery retailers.

Global View

The global biscuits market (crackers, savoury biscuits, and sweet biscuits) is projected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 5.08% during the forecast period 2019-2024. That is according to the Biscuits Market – Growth, Trends and Forecast (2020-2025) report published by Mordor Intelligence.

The report states that the market is driven by the rising demand among consumers for convenience snacking paired with healthy ingredients.

Also, it says that since ‘food-on-the- go is the most recent ongoing trend and is one of the fundamental considerations for consumers while purchasing food products,’ it has been a key driver of the market.

While the food-to-go market worldwide has taken a big hit since the outbreak of COVID-19, it may regain some momentum as restrictions ease and, hopefully, infection levels remain low.

Launches with new formulations in the basic product such as low fat, gluten-free, low carbohydrate, organic, and high fibre biscuits, to attract consumers who have become increasingly health-conscious, has further fuelled the market growth.

Interestingly, sweet biscuit is the fastest growing sector ‘owing to its taste and healthy ingredients’.

Key Market Trends

Increasing demand in the cookies segment of the global biscuits market is one of the key trends identified by the Mordor Intelligence report.

It attributes this rising trend to the ‘product innovations involved in the sector and the use of high-quality ingredients.’ For example, the report cites the 2017 launch by Pepperidge of Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Thin and Crispy cookies, which is available in three flavours - milk chocolate chip, dark chocolate chip, and triple chocolate chip, and Burton’s January 2019 launch of Maryland Sugar-free Cookies.

In Ireland, one of the best examples of the growing popularity of high-quality cookies is the success enjoyed by Co Louth-based East Coast Bakehouse.

Their pledge – Baking Better Biscuits – appears to be hitting home, with Irish biscuit lovers appreciating the quality Irish ingredients, including Irish butter and Irish oats, that combine to make the range stand out.

Another key trend identified by the Mordor report is the rise in the number of premium, functional biscuits hitting the market, which are giving the market leaders a run for their money.

It notes that ‘manufacturers are living up to consumer demands by launching innovative products with functional properties such as high protein and by using ingredients such as nuts & seeds and dry fruits in biscuits.’

© 2020 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Maev Martin. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.


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