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This Key Note Market Report Plus examines the biscuits and cakes industry in the UK. According to Key Note calculations, the market grew by 4.4% in 2012.
Biscuits and cakes are popular in the UK and penetration has been rising as consumers continue to enjoy affordable treats during the economic crisis. The sector for biscuits accounts for the majority of the market and increase its market share over the review period. The sector is further subdivided by types of biscuit. Healthier biscuits account for the largest subcategory within the biscuits sector, and the subsector has experienced strong growth in 2012 due to a surge in the popularity of breakfast biscuits. Savoury biscuits, including crackers and crispbreads, have also performed well, as these products are consumed as a healthy alternative to bread and crisps. Sales in the cakes sector are being driven by the demand for individual cakes, cake slices and cake bars, and such products are being eaten as part of a packed lunch or as an on-the-go snack. Weight-conscious consumers, who are looking for portion-controlled options, are also purchasing these cakes as an occasional treat. In contrast, the large and whole cakes subsector has suffered due to the rise in home baking.
Although the biscuits and cakes market grew in 2012, this was principally down to price inflation rather than an increase in demand. Cash-strapped Britons are purchasing biscuits on offer and brand loyalty is waning as consumers swap household brands for own-label equivalents. Retailers now offer products of similar quality but better value. Branded cakes have particularly suffered under this phenomenon as own labels now account for roughly 70% of cake value and volume sales.
The biscuits and cakes market is saturated with products and falling disposable incomes have failed to stimulate manufacturers to invest in large-scale innovation. With the exception of Mondelez UK Ltd — previously known as Kraft Foods UK Ltd — which has recently pioneered the concept of breakfast biscuits, companies in the market are focusing on variation instead of launching new products. Format variation includes both individually-wrapped and sharing versions. Manufacturers are seeking to maximise sales during national events, including royal celebrations and sports championships. Halloween is gaining importance in the market in addition to traditional Easter and Christmas holidays and the rising importance of ‘mini-seasons’ such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Manufacturers are also introducing new flavours of existing products, typically in limited-edition formats, to add excitement to the market.
The biscuits and cakes market is expected to continue growing over the next 5 years. Between 2013 and 2017, its value is predicted to rise by 17.7%.
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