pladis, the UK’s number one biscuit manufacturer, has launched its 2018 Annual Biscuit Review, urging retailers to seize the opportunity to add £330m of additional biscuit sales over three years by tapping into the anticipated £1.2 billion rise in snacking over the same period[1].

Now in its fourth year, pladis’ Review highlights key areas for retailers to cash in on the category’s new snacking hotspots while at the same time protecting the £2.6 billion core biscuits fixture, which on its own has added another £33 million of retail sales in the last year alone[2].

“It’s easy to forget the huge contribution tbiscuits make to the sales of retailers and foodservice operators of all sizes,” explains Stuart Graham, Customer Marketing Director at pladis UK & Ireland, “which is why our latest Annual Biscuit Review is probably the most important we have launched to date.

“This year’s Review will serve as an invaluable resource for retailers, wholesalers and foodservice operators looking to make the most of this ever-evolving category’s hottest new opportunities, as well as containing key advice about how to protect core sales by stocking the right range.” 


With £500 spent on snacking every second[3] and pladis accounting for £1 in every £5 spent on biscuits with a category-leading portfolio, the company aims to help retailers unlock the true potential for biscuits within a £1.2 billion additional snacking opportunity over the next three years, by urging them to think about a number of key growth drivers, and then stock the right biscuit products accordingly.

“Nine out of 10 shoppers claim to snack multiple times per day, while one in 14 (7%) forego meals altogether and simply rely on snacks to keep them going[4], so it’s essential that retailers are stocking the right biscuit formats and products to help inform purchasing decisions,” explains Graham. “It’s also important that retailers think about the type of shoppers that are coming into their stores, so they can dial up the key growth drivers accordingly.”

The key snacking growth drivers highlighted in pladis’ Annual Biscuit Review[5] are:


–          39% of snack consumers look for healthy products all or most of the time when choosing a snack

–          41% say it’s hard to know which snacks are good for you, but 32% actively avoid buying processed ones

–          63% would rather eat a naturally healthy snack than a light version of a less healthy snack

–          47% of mothers feel that their family has too much sugar in their diets


–          50% of snack consumers working full time say their busy lifestyles makes snacking a necessity

–          64% of snack consumers feel snacks are important to keep energy levels up throughout the day

–          37% of consumers will snack instead of having a proper meal at least once a week

–          57% of 16–24s and 58% of parents with children under five use snacks to forego meals


–          95% of innovation fails within its first year, yet snack consumers want innovation above all else

–          53% of savoury snackers say they are prompted to buy when they see new flavours in shops

–          25% of UK consumers would be interested in snacks with flavours inspired by authentic street food

–          58% of consumers like to eat new things and 37% like looking for new snacks when shopping 


–          52% of snack consumers think that taste is more important than healthiness

–          66% of UK consumers think unhealthy snacks are fine as part of a balanced diet

–          38% of UK chocolate eaters believe the emotional benefits of chocolate outweigh any health concerns

–          Convenience retailers in urban locations will become hotspots for luxury snacks, blending retail and foodservice


–          37% of snacks in the UK are consumed with someone else – friends, family, colleagues etc.

–          25% of shoppers purchase snacks for the family to make them happy

–          58% of 16 – 34s and 52% of parents believe snacks are a must-have for an evening in

–          71% of people say they enjoy watching TV with family


Whilst snacking represents a huge new opportunity for retailers, protecting the £2.6 billion core fixture should also be a priority, adds Graham.

“Core biscuit sales continue to come predominantly from a relatively small collection of household favourites, with £4 out of every £5 spent on biscuits in convenience coming from around just 8% of the total number of products available[6], so stocking the right range is absolutely vital.

“This year’s Review drills down into the key areas where retailers of all shapes and sizes need to concentrate, from the best-sellers in Everyday Biscuits and Treats, through to the must-stock Christmas, Healthier and Savoury Biscuits that are most likely to capture shoppers’ attention and inspire purchase.”


To request a copy of pladis’ 2018 Annual Biscuit Review, email


[1] Based on pladis review of multiple data sources and reports, including from Mintel, Lightspeed and KWP, as well as bespoke research from pladis

[2] Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 30 Dec 2018

[3] Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 12 August 2018

[4] The Hartman Group ‘Future of Snacking’ report 2016

[5] All figures Mintel Report, Consumer Snacking – UK – May 2016 and SCB Report – pladis Future of Retail 2027

[6] IRI convenience sales data for total take home biscuits in 2018

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