Market trends


POS, NPD and convenient pack formats are key when it comes to driving biscuit sales, according to Burton’s Biscuit Company.

“As people’s lifestyles have changed, so too have their snacking habits, with food-to-go becoming an increasingly important category for forecourt retailers,” says David Costello, Head of Category and Shopper Management at Burton’s.

“It’s important that retailers focus on those biscuit sectors that are currently driving growth; namely treatier biscuits, which account for more than 45% of basket spend on biscuits*1, and Bagged Savoury Biscuits, the star performers within Savoury Snacks this past year.”

While the total value of the Crisps & Snacks market stands at £2.8bn*2 (including Crisps, Snacks, Nuts and Popcorn), growing at 1.2% YoY, Savoury Snacks is the best performing area with Bagged Savoury Biscuits creating new opportunities for forecourt retailers.

Burton’s entered the savoury sector early in 2014 with huge success, generating sales in excess of £25m*3 with Burton’s Fish ‘n’ Chips and Cathedral City Baked Bites, which together have driven almost 40% of total savoury biscuit growth*4, and are now competing alongside the big brands within Crisps & Snacks.

Originally popular in the 1980s, the Fish ‘n’ Chips brand was revived in early 2014 due to overwhelming trade and consumer demand.

Costello continues: “The savoury snack sector is really on consumer trend at the moment, with Burton’s Fish ‘n’ Chips and Cathedral City Baked Bites meeting demand for products that consumers regard as both permissible and convenient.

“The fact they’re ‘baked not fried’ ticks the better for you box, and the pack sizes allow for all-important portion control.”

While sharing and single serve missions are stronger within convenience, multipacks account for over 10% of total Crisps & Snacks sales within the Impulse sector*2.

With research showing ‘Party/Sharing Snacks’ as a burgeoning sector, growing 9% YOY*5, Within the biscuit category sweet biscuits remain the most popular inhome snack and with the growing importance of food on the move, the need for the biscuit category to adapt to suit consumer needs is greater than ever before.

“Despite the fact that consumers continue to enjoy sweet biscuits as an in-home snack, less than 5% of traditional sweet biscuits are available in a single serve out of home pack format*6,” says Costello.

“In 2014, Burton’s recognised that there was a lack of market-leading traditional biscuits that could be eaten on the move, introducing a range of single-serve packs to cater to changing consumer habits.”

Burton’s single-serve packs include a 30g Maryland Gooeys twin snack pack and a 40g bag of bite-size Maryland Choc Chip Cookies, both available as 39p PMPs and plain packs (RRP 45p).


Burton’s announced in April that it was pitting Red Sauce against Brown Sauce in an epic ‘Battle of the Sauces’ under its £19.1m*7 Fish ‘n’ Chips brand.

Both variants continued the brand tradition of classic flavours, with consumers being given 12 weeks to vote for their favourite flavour on Facebook, and the winner going on to become a permanent listing from July.

Launched in March, a new-look Cadbury Special Occasions range of Burton’s Cadbury Dairy Milk (110g), Cadbury Crunchie (130g), and Cadbury Wispa biscuits (124g) moved to 4 snack packs of 2 biscuits per portion (8 biscuits per carton, RRP £1.59). The company has invested in new technology to flow wrap and carton the new pack format for the £8.8m Cadbury Special Occasions range*8.

The portion packs performed well in consumer research, with shoppers identifying the benefits of improved portion control and the opportunity to enjoy these household favourites when and where they choose*9.


Customers shop by mission, so it is crucial that this is reflected in the way the range is merchandised, to drive sales and shopper footfall.

“With shoppers increasingly leaning towards baked savoury snacks, it is crucial that these are merchandised together in a prominent position, with enough space to enable them to grow.”

Costello concludes.

“Positioning is really important when it comes to snacking, and particularly within food-to-go. With 86% of biscuits consumed with a drink*10 biscuits can certainly play a key role for forecourt retailers with a hot beverage station in-store. We would advise retailers to look at locating snack packs and grab bags of sweet and savoury biscuits adjacent to sandwiches and cold drinks to take advantage of the lunchtime trade.”

*1 IRI Aztec Subscribed Markets 2/1/16

*2 Nielsen Crisps, Snacks, Nuts & Popcorn MAT to 30 Jan 2016

*3 Combined Kantar & Nielsen read MAT to 5 Dec 2015

*4 Nielsen MAT to 5 Dec 2015

*5 AC Nielsen MAT 15.08.15

*6 Kantar MAT 11 Nov 2015

*7 Combined Kantar & Nielsen MAT to 27 Feb 2016

*8 Nielsen, Total coverage, MAT, value sales to w/e 10.10.15

*9 Illuminas, bespoke consumer research, May 2015

*10 Kantar Worldpanel MAT Jun 2014

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