Savoury biscuits successfully target snacking occasions
Savoury biscuits accounted for just 10% of global new bakery products recorded by Innova Market Insights in the 12 months to the end of July 2013. This is equivalent to just over a quarter of total biscuit and cookie launches over that period. However, while the savoury biscuits market is much smaller than that for sweet biscuits/cookies and levels of new product activity are generally much lower, the savoury sector has been showing a stronger growth rate in many countries.
This is driven by increasingly sophisticated and complex flavours, more interesting shapes, improved textures and an increasing focus on health credentials.
Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights reports that: “The sector is also moving away from relatively plain biscuits used as an accompaniment for products such as cheese, savoury spreads and wine, and into products positioned as snacks in their own right, suitable for consumption straight from the box or with dips.”
Savoury biscuits product activity is characterised by the relatively high level of interest in healthy options, with over 40% of launches positioned on a health platform of some kind. This includes both passive claims, such as low fat, organic, natural, gluten-free, etc., and active claims, such as with added calcium or protein or featuring specific benefits such as heart health or digestive health. This figure rises to over 80% for US launches and nearly 60% in Europe, but falls to just 20% in Asia.
Interest in all-natural and clean-label options appears to be continuing unabated, with over 20% of the savoury biscuits and crackers launches recorded globally by Innova Market Insights featuring natural, additive-/preservative-free or organic claims. This trend is particularly evident in the more developed markets, however, particularly the US, where the percentage rises to just under half.
Other key health claims featuring strongly in crackers and savoury biscuits include the use of wholegrains, featured on 10% of global launches, and source of fibre/high-fibre and gluten-free, both featuring on 8%.
New or unusual ingredients are also starting to feature more often in product activity, adding interest or a healthier image or to permit gluten-free claims. Nabisco’s Triscuit brand was extended in the US in mid-2013 made with wholegrain brown rice and wheat with pieces of sweet potato or red beans. Other interesting US introductions have included Blue Diamond’s Artisan Nut Thins made with almonds, brown rice and seeds.
The sector is also breaking new ground with composite products that sit between crackers and other types of biscuits and snacks. This was illustrated by the 2012 introduction of a Milka Tuc variant in European markets such as Spain and Germany, combining two of Kraft’s well-known brands, Milka chocolate and Tuc salted biscuits. The new product sets a Tuc biscuit into Milka chocolate to offer a contrast between the sweetness of the chocolate and the saltiness of the biscuit.
“It is clear that new product activity is helping to drive the savoury biscuits market forward,” concludes Williams, “with innovation designed to increase the product’s appeal as a versatile, nutritious and tasty snack, offering planned and impulse, on-the-go and at-home options for a variety of social and domestic occasions.”
Source: Innova Market Insights