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Biscuits barrelling along

Despite the 'war on sugar', the biscuit category is holding up well thanks to the fact that sweet biscuits are universally popular, with nine out of 10 consumers eating them. Mintel research reveals that value sales have increased due to higher average prices and predicts that the sweet biscuit and cereal bars category will reach £2.5bn by 2022.

Healthy profits

The term 'healthy snack' is open to interpretation but one thing most consumers are agreed upon is that fruit makes the healthiest snack. New research from Him, where they quizzed 1,000 consumers in September, found that 94% of them viewed fresh fruit to be healthy. The second healthiest item was nuts, then dried fruit, veg-and-a-dip, then plain rice cakes. Over half of those who took part in the survey thought crisps were healthy but they were 'veggie' crisps as opposed to potato ones.

Variety boosts snacks

Go into a high street pub and you may still find the packaged snacks choice confined to a brand each of crisps, nuts and pork scratchings, but in the fast-moving world of grocery and convenience it's become much more than that.

Meat is making its mark

The spread of snacks on to the chilled fixture has brought a proliferation of meat snacks, with Peperami supplier Jack Link's among the most active in the segment.

Popcorn comes out of the cinema and into the mainstream

Upmarket and trendy brands have dragged popcorn out of the cinema foyer and into widespread distribution in supermarkets and convenience stores.

Consumers say 'yes' to cheese

Dairy Crest is aiming to raise the profile of single-serve cheese as a snacking option with the launch of its Cathedral City Snack Bar, which comes in Mature and a 99-calorie Lighter Mature variant in 30g single packs and four-bar mutlipacks.

Protein products power ahead

Arguably the segment seeing the biggest proliferation of NPD is that for nut, seed and fruit-based protein bars from brands such as Grenade, Graze, Bounce and Kind.

Super snackers

The boundary between meals and snacks is blurring. So says Colette Noé, senior director for consumer and market insights at Pladis. "Most people understand a meal to be influenced by cultural traditions around timing, setting and specific food groups. Snacks, on the other hand, are highly personalised and variable mini meals." And as with most things, it's millennials who have a lot of influence over the UK snacking industry. Noé calls them the 'taste makers', saying they make much quicker purchases and buy fewer groceries online than you might think.

Our national pastime

The average person in the UK now eats crisps, nuts or popcorn seven times a week, making us the largest (possibly literally) snackers in Europe. This news comes courtesy of Channel 4's recent documentary called Secrets of our Favourite Snacks. For the show, Kantar spoke to 11,000 people about their snacking habits. It found that the UK's snacking hotspot was the North West, where people were the most frequent buyers, and 8pm-10pm was the most popular time to indulge. And their favourite flavour? Good old cheese or cheese & onion.

Crisp and spry

The crisps and snacks market in the UK is in slight growth (up 0.8%) making it worth some £3.3bn (Kantar Worldpanel data 52 weeks ending March 27, 2016). And although four out of every five pounds spent on crisps and snacks goes through the major grocery multiples, this still leaves 20% (over £600m-worth) through convenience stores.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 18 November 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East131.0157.70138.30126.81
East Midlands130.59139.47126.61
London131.00140.06127.56
North East129.23139.06125.25
North West129.8364.92138.07126.36
Northern Ireland127.82133.40124.44
Scotland130.4852.70137.39126.25
South East131.4769.90139.42127.48
South West130.5064.90136.17126.41
Wales129.68135.94125.44
West Midlands130.33140.40126.46
Yorkshire & Humber129.8099.90138.58126.25

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