United Biscuits (UB) has launched its Category Vision for 2016 and its first annual Biscuits Review, which together reveal 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, the report pinpoints 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. UB has identified the need for retailers to re-connect with the shopper by offering contemporary and inspirational fixtures which encourage shoppers to browse for longer resulting in higher basket conversion.

Sarah Lonorgan, director of customer mMarketing, United Biscuits, says: “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."

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