It’s no secret that Brits love a biscuit. Whether you choose traditional and comforting or new and exciting, biscuits have established themselves as a national treasure.

When it comes to UK shoppers, many tend to stick to their familiar favourites which makes it a tough market to compete in.

Frances Booth, UK Category and Development Marketing Manager at Lotus Bakeries, comments: “Although it’s true that customers can be creatures of habits when it comes to their weekly shops, many are becoming more adventurous and are often attracted to premium quality products that feature on-trend flavours, an interesting point of difference or products that have created a huge buzz online. Customers enjoy seeing something that stands out from the typical flavours that you see time and time again and this can be enough to encourage impulse purchases.”

Expanding its presence within the biscuit category, Lotus Bakeries has merged the Lotus Biscoff biscuit and Lotus Biscoff spread into one cream-filled delight.

The new Lotus Biscoff Sandwich Biscuit features the same unique flavour and satisfying crunch of the Lotus Biscoff biscuit but circular in shape and packed with a layer of Lotus Biscoff cream. Also available as Milk Chocolate or Vanilla cream variants, retailers can brand block with the original Lotus Biscoff biscuit to maximise their impact on shelf.

The new 150ml packs are in-line with original Lotus Biscoff biscuit packaging and feature the recognisable red design and distinctive Lotus Bicoff logo, coupled with four images of the new SKU. The new Sandwich biscuit (RRP £1.39) is available in packs of fifteen individual biscuits with a tear-strip for easy opening.

“During these uncertain times, customers are looking or something that provides them with little moments of joy at home and biscuits do just that,” adds Booth. “Even with more consumers gradually eating out of home more or retuning to work, there is still an increased demand for quality biscuits at home. Recent retail data revealed that sales of everyday biscuits were up by over 44% during lockdown and it was revealed that the UK’s most popular biscuit was in fact, the Lotus Biscoff biscuit with over 791,000 searches online during lockdown.”

Charlotte Hulbert, Sales Manager Brioche Pasquier. comments: “Perhaps most of us mix and match – enjoying both guilty pleasures and healthy substitutes in equal measure. Cakes and biscuits are often impulse buys, something that catches the eye and tempts the shopper. This means that they play an important role on the shelves, offering the seller the opportunity to make additional sales above and beyond the everyday essentials.”

When it comes to cakes, French-style pâtisserie has become one of the on-trend forms of sweet treat.

The elegant size and shape of beautiful pâtisserie like macarons is enticing and will attract buyers into that impulse purchase.

Presentation is just as important as taste with this sort of product – it is all about taking the consumer on a sensory journey, combining visual delight with sweet smells and exquisite tastes.

“Macarons are beautiful, desirable and make a very special gift,” adds Hulbert. “Brioche Pasquier’s first chilled range, Macarons ‘Incontournables’ offers retail customers the true taste of premium French pâtisserie in a pack of 12.”

Incontournables is a French word for not to be missed, and these macarons are created by expert Brioche Pasquier’s skilled pâtissiers in France. They have the signature delicate crunch on the outside and a soft velvety centre. The flavours in the range include the classic favourites, Chocolate, Pistachio, Vanilla, Raspberry, Lemon and Coffee.

Brioche Pasquier macarons are free from preservatives, artificial colours, flavours and are palm oil free.

Surb Kaur, UK Sales Director for Gullón, comments: “Being overweight has been identified as a risk factor for Covid-19 and with governments and well-being gurus emphasising that a healthy lifestyle can help mitigate the effects of the virus, consumers are increasingly aware of the need to eat more healthily, and to cut out empty calories like sugar.”

As people are spending so much more time at home, snacks have become an increasingly important category and we have seen a consistent rise in sales as people move towards healthier choices.

Zeroh! biscuits from Gullón are baked with no sugar, no palm oil and are low in salt. They are vegetarian, high in fibre and are made with sunflower oil which contains high oleic fats. All of this makes for a healthier, more wholesome biscuit.

“At the start of the pandemic we saw a slight dip in sales of our sugar-free biscuits as shoppers were loading up on indulgent foods to eat while they were in lockdown,” says Kaur. “However, as time has gone on, people are becoming more conscious about what they are consuming at home, perhaps because they have more time on their hands to review this.”

During the last twelve weeks Gullón’s sales have increased by 37%.

“When it comes to biscuits, the comfortingly familiar recipes are the ones that people want to eat at the moment,” says Kaur. “Digestive biscuits, both plain and with chocolate, and chocolate chip cookies all provide the snack equivalent of a hug. With consumers demanding healthier alternatives to these popular products, retailers need to ensure they are offering a real choice.”

The Zeroh! brand offers well established favourite biscuit varieties refigured in a modern and healthier way that ties in with the current pre-occupation with diet and healthier eating.

Retailers are seeing a growing demand for low sugar, fibre rich products from consumers who are looking for a sweet treat but without the guilt trip. The Zeroh! range delivers that. Choc Chip Cookie, an addition to the line, has the right balance of crunch and softness, and is packed with chocolate chips.

Gullón originates in Spain where it is a brand leader with over 50% of the market share. With the recent introduction of the Zeroh! range into British retail outlets, Gullón has launched an extensive social media campaign to introduce the products to the general public.

The target audience is women of all ages who are interested in healthier snacking, including those who are responsible for shopping for a family. The focus of the social media campaign will be to engage these customers through influencers, explaining the benefits and great taste of the biscuits and encouraging them to look for the eye catching Zeroh! packaging on the shelves.

Alongside the social media campaign which is focussed on consumers, Gullón is running a PR campaign in the retail and wholesale media, introducing the brand to the buyers and influencers in these sectors.

Plant-based and free-from have become a new and growing category within cakes and biscuits. As specialist diets move increasingly mainstream they demand a fresh perspective when it comes to display.

“In order to make the most of the healthy biscuit market, a free-from section in the biscuit aisle is essential,” suggests Kaur. “Arrange plant based and free-from choices in a separate section beside the one that offers traditional products.”

“Pairing free-from with traditional products is also an effective sales tool,” Kaur continues. “Place our sugar-free Chocolate Chip Cookies alongside the traditional versions, for example. This will attract customers who may like to try a healthier alternative but would not consider looking in the specialist free-from section.”

Scott Snell, Vice President of Customer at pladis UK & Ireland, comments: “With Britons spending more time indoors, due to increased working from home, shoppers have enjoyed more hot drinks moments.

Despite the long-term outlook for Covid-19 looking more positive – particularly in the UK – we still see this trend continuing throughout 2021 as consumers ease back into ‘the way things were’. Whether it’s enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, biscuits that complement these occasions have benefitted from a sales uplift. So, retailers would be wise to maintain availability of our core bestsellers – including McVitie’s Digestives and McVitie’s Hobnobs – which have grown in value by 35%.”

In January 2020 pladis launched McVitie’s Fully-Coated Digestives and Hobnobs – an indulgent new range which offers consumers their favourite biscuits, fully-enrobed in McVitie’s iconic silky-smooth milk chocolate.

Alongside this, pladis has also launched four new, on-trend flavours to its bestselling McVitie’s Milk Chocolate Digestives and McVitie’s Milk Chocolate Hobnobs brands, under a new limited-edition range, McVitie’s British Icons.

A Nairn’s spokesperson said: “Those who are forced to shop in the free from aisle for reasons of food allergy or intolerance rightly expect to find variety and choice in the products on offer and increasingly look to main categories, expecting to find the same range of contemporary flavours and selection of new products available to them in free from options.”

Nairn’s has launched a new range of fruit flavoured porridge which is quick to prepare and very versatile, offering a variety of options for preparation and eating (including overnight oats, smoothies and baking). Made with gluten free wholegrain oats and real fruit pieces, Nairn’s Oats Your Way fulfils the current consumer need for a healthy, authentic and comforting breakfast, in a safe and convenient format.

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