A bounty of biscuits

Shopper Intelligence research shows ‘biscuits’ is a highly impulsive category where cravings. can be triggered in-store with displays and strong brand visibility. Biscuits shoppers are more open to spending more or buying extra to try something new or different, so it’s important to keep up to date with all the latest NPD and category development, writes Gillian Hamill


Brand Central

19 October 2022

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Irish people are serious about their biscuits. In fact, Euromonitor found that Irish people consumed 35,709 tonnes of sweet biscuits and snack bars in 2020 – that’s 7.2kg per person per year.

There are two major trends in the highly innovative category, health and indulgence. Some of the most popular snacks in Ireland are sweet biscuits. Despite growing public interest in healthy eating, many responsible Irish consumers enjoy biscuits in moderation as occasional or semi-regular indulgences.

Meanwhile, the manufacturers that excel within the savoury biscuits sector are those that have adapted to suit consumer demand for healthier options, such as wholegrain versions or products containing ancient grains. Flavour varieties, brand variations and limited-edition offerings are all regular occurrences, among new brands and family favourites alike. With that in mind, here ShelfLife examines the top trends and brands in the category today.

Ambitious growth plans

Having established a very strong position across chocolate, sugar confectionery and spreads, Ferrero has ambitious plans to become a major player in the sweet packaged foods sector. Biscuits naturally form a key pillar of those growth ambitions.

With Nutella B-Ready already a firm favourite in the category, the high-profile introductions of Kinder Cards, Duplo and Nutella Biscuits represent the logical next step in this journey following the successful performances of these brands across Europe. Each of the products in the biscuits range are available in single-serve and multipack formats, helping to meet changing shopper needs and offering the right balance between on-the-go and at-home consumption.

With 98% of shoppers buying sweet biscuits*, and one in six of those shoppers purchasing biscuits in convenience stores**, it is vital to have the right range on the shelves to maximise sales in the sweet biscuit category.

Nutella, the nation’s favourite chocolate hazelnut spread*** brings excitement to the biscuit category with its Nutella Biscuits. The golden baked crunchy biscuit, enclosing a creamy heart of Nutella, has already had an initial positive consumer response since its launch in Ireland at the start of 2021. In a category of over 300 brands, Nutella Biscuits has secured itself in the top 40 biscuit brands*** and is already worth over €1.3m after just over a year in the market*****.

Single-serve packs of Kinder Cards provide shoppers with an ideal treat for the whole family to enjoy on-the-go

Expanding Ferrero’s presence in the biscuit category, Kinder Cards brings the distinctive milk and cocoa taste that the brand is loved for to a new aisle. By expanding Kinder’s presence in-store, the range will grab the attention of existing shoppers as well as attracting new ones to a widely recognised and trusted family brand. The single-serve packs also provide shoppers with an ideal treat for the whole family to enjoy on-the-go during afternoon activities.

Top Tips from Ferrero

  • Provide fair share to different product types by aligning biscuit segments share of sales with shelf space to ensure the right amount of variety.
  • Merchandise effectively by locating products in the right place to maximise sales. For example, place treating products towards the eyeline to maximise impulsivity
  • Place brands together on the shelf to maximise brand visibility, attract shoppers and improve shopper navigation of the fixture. This is a proven technique with Kinder products seeing a 20% uplift when sold alongside each other****.

*(Source: Kantar WPO Spend Penetration | Total Market | Total Size | 52 w/e Dec 2022)

**(Source: Nielsen Scantrack ROI Convenience (Biscuits) L12wks data to 02.01.2022 – €ROS)

***(Source: Nielsen Scantrack 4wks to 20/02/2021 vs. PCD YA)

****(Source: Ranked 35th RSV – MAT to 27/02/22 – Sub-brands – Total Scantrack ROI – Nielsen)

*****(Source: Nielsen Scantrack Retailer data)

A taste of bliss

Pladis, the global snacking company behind some of Ireland’s most loved and iconic brands, has ramped up its offering in the special treats sub-category of biscuits with innovation in the form of McVitie’s Blissfuls.

Comprised of an expertly baked McVitie’s biscuit, encasing a melt in the mouth Belgian milk chocolate cream centre – flavoured with either hazelnut or caramel – then topped with a crunchy and golden baked biscuit lid, McVitie’s Blissfuls promise a decadent new snacking experience.

The latest trailblazing treat from Ireland’s biggest sweet biscuit brand* is available in a 228g sharing pouch. Recognising the important role biscuits play in social connection, this format will also enhance relevance for sweet biscuits during the evening snacking occasion.

This launch is currently being supported with a 360⸰ marketing campaign including outdoor, PR, sampling, social media and an engaging consumer text to win competition to win a games night bundle suiting the social night in occasion.

What’s more, thanks to the legion of loyal McVitie’s shoppers ready to trade-up and try something new, the premium positioning of McVitie’s Blissfuls is primed to support category value growth.

“McVitie’s has a long-established history of baking the nation’s favourite sweet biscuits, and our everyday biscuits like McVitie’s Digestives, and everyday treats like McVitie’s Chocolate Hobnobs, are firm favourites for morning and afternoon snacking,” said Ashley Birch-Ruffell, global senior brand manager for McVitie’s at Pladis UK&I.

“Created especially for sharing, our latest innovation is just the moreish special treat to shake up the evening snacking occasion by boosting relevance for sweet biscuits during these moments,” she added.

McVitie’s Blissfuls is available across most major retailers throughout Ireland. There are two variants, McVitie’s Blissfuls Belgian Milk Chocolate & Caramel, and McVitie’s Blissfuls Belgian Milk Chocolate & Hazelnut. Packaging will be recyclable through Pladis’ partnership with Terracycle (www.terracycle.co.uk).

*(Source: Nielsen ROI, total biscuits Vol 2022 YTD)

All-natural, stripped-back ingredients

At the height of lockdown in 2021, 26-year-old baking entrepreneur Aisling Tuck created Naked Bakes Cookie Dough to fill a gap in the market for a natural, more sustainable plant-based food product that doesn’t sacrifice taste.

The handmade fresh cookie dough quickly developed a cult fan following among vegans and non-vegans. In April, Naked Bakes secured listings in stores nationwide, including select SuperValu and Centra stores, Donnybrook Fair, and independent retailers. Since then, the young Irish brand has reported a 25% increase in sales.

Aisling Tuck’s Irish baking brand has reported a 25% jump in sales since April this year after securing a listing in SuperValu stores nationwide

Now, Naked Bakes has invested in a new brand identity featuring bold colours and a fun twist on the classical illustration of Adam and Eve giving into temptation. The new look highlights Naked Bakes’ all-natural, stripped-back ingredients list and reflects what the brand stands for: just because something is natural doesn’t mean it has to be bland.

The design refresh is perfectly timed with Naked Bakes’ launch at the exclusive Raye the Store pop-up on Regent Street, one of the world’s most prestigious shopping streets at the heart of London’s West End. From 15 September to 27 October, Naked Bakes will sit alongside a curated selection of new, forward-thinking brands carefully cherry-picked from around the world. The brand refresh also includes slick new website, nakedbakesireland.com.

The plant-based cookie dough is handmade in Dublin using Irish, sustainable ingredients of the highest quality.

The Naked Bakes range includes Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Choc-Chip, Red Velvet, Salted Double Choc-Chip Brookie, and the latest release, Triple Chocolate, the perfect blend of vegan white, milk and dark chocolate chips.

Naked Bakes Cookie Dough is available in select SuperValu and Centra stores, Donnybrook Fair, independent retailers and online at nakedbakesireland.com. Follow @weare_naked on Instagram for updates and recipe inspiration.

Hot results!

Hot Chip founder Dave McSharry is full of ideas for the brand’s future

The Dunnes Stores Simply Better range has a well-deserved reputation for award-winning food and drink. Behind the scenes, it also champions small Irish producers, helping them to grow while doing what they do best.

Dave McSharry of the award-winning Hot Chip cookie dough company is one such producer. McSharry always planned to set up his own business and his time living in Australia and travelling around South America and Canada proved to be inspirational.

Fast-forward to September 2020 – a time when home baking was flourishing amidst Covid lockdowns – and the Hot Chip cookie dough brand was born. It quickly won awards and soon came to the attention of the Dunnes Stores Simply Better team – via another Simply Better producer, as it happens. Which is testament to the collaborative environment the Simply Better brand is nurturing.

Dunnes Stores Simply Better Cookie Dough is available in two flavours; a caramel, sea salt and dark chocolate and a bourbon vanilla and white chocolate option

“We were supplying cookie dough to a lot of coffee shops around Dublin, including Two Fifty Square Coffee, who provide coffee to the Simply Better range,” McSharry explains. “When the team was in the store, the Two Fifty Square Coffee guys told them the cookies sell out each day and go great with their coffee That was how it first came about.”

Today, the new products have launched into over 90 Dunnes Stores and there are two exclusive flavours: a caramel, sea salt and dark chocolate and a bourbon vanilla and white chocolate. Flavour has been at the heart of the brand from the beginning, and the main ingredient is Irish butter. “We have the best butter in the world,” McSharry notes, “and we wanted to make an authentic Irish cookie dough.” Using local ingredients where possible, Belgian chocolate is one ingredient they were willing to go abroad for as it has such a good name.

Dave McSharry is understandably thrilled with the reaction the products have received in Dunnes Stores so far. All going well, he is full of ideas for the future too, from more products to collaborations with other producers in the range. It’s clear that this partnership with Simply Better is going to be a sweet one indeed.

Smart cookie!

Aryzta has introduced scrumptious new Cuisine de France wrapped cookies

Aryzta has just launched a pair of delicious Cuisine de France wrapped cookies. Generously filled with Belgian milk and white chocolate chunks, these cookies are chewy, crunchy and the perfect pairing with a coffee or tea.

Not only are they a tasty treat, but for retailers they offer a fantastic thaw and serve solution with a six-day shelf life. This allows for better waste management and ease of meeting sales demand in-store.

The cookies are available in two flavours, Belgian Milk Chocolate Chunk and Belgian Triple Chocolate Chunk.

To find out more about stocking these cookies, contact afsordering@aryzta.com.











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