Barrel of laughs
While the ritualistic lure of enjoying a sweet biccie over a steaming hot mug of tea or coffee certainly hasn’t waned in this country, the savoury biscuits category is thriving at the moment as consumers increasingly realise the category’s potential for fulfilling healthy lunchtime and afternoon snacking occasions, writes Gillian Hamill
12 September 2014
AT A GLANCE: BISCUITS
The savoury biscuit category is up 8.9%* in value year-to-date*
The McVitie’s re-launch year-to-date has increased the market share of sweet biscuits by +1.2pts to 20.2% in value and by +2.5pts to 24.4% in volume*
Jacob’s is Ireland’s number one biscuit brand**
Tuc Sour Cream & Onion flavour has added over €1 million worth of sales to the Tuc brand since launching last year
*(Source: AC Nielsen 13 July 2014)
**(Source: Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 27 April 2014)
When it comes to biscuits, it appears the ‘classics’ have obtained their status for a valid reason. According to recent research from market analyst Mintel, traditional biscuit choices such as Bourbon and the custard cream are a surprisingly strong hit with 16 to 24 year-olds. Six in ten (60%) of respondents within this age group disagreed that traditional biscuits are boring, compared to 55% of their older counterparts (aged 55+).
Reflecting Irish trends, Alex Beckett, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel, said: “The youth of Britain is growing up immersed in digital media, text-speak and cutting-edge gadgetry but this doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate a good old-fashioned custard cream. They may lack TV support or big-name brands, but the humble Bourbon, malted milk and custard cream are cherished by teens and students. Maybe the lack of try-hard advertising appeals to them – or maybe these biscuits are just better value than the increasingly chocolate-laden new launches. Either way, the youth of austerity Britain has respect for our biscuit heritage.”
Driven by innovative new launches, the savoury biscuit category has also recorded a very respectable performance; up 8.9% in value terms year-to-date. This category has proved a hit with consumers who want something different, tasty and healthy for their lunch and snacking occasions without hurting their wallets.
McVitie’s: Ninth top FMCG brand in Ireland*
Enjoyed by Irish families for generations, McVitie’s has a large biscuit portfolio of much-loved iconic brands. Earlier this year, United Biscuits embarked on a major re-launch of its McVitie’s brand to rejuvenate and create fresh interest in its top sweet biscuit brand. As part of the overarching masterbrand strategy, UB unveiled its new design created to drive an ownable, distinctive and consistent brand identity across the entire McVitie’s range including: McVitie’s Digestives, Jaffa Cakes, Rich Tea, Hob Nobs and Penguin.
In addition to the redesign, the most significant element of the McVitie’s re-launch programme was a brand new approach to its advertising. The re-launch kicked off in February and was supported with a €1m multimedia campaign, UB’s biggest ever. McVitie’s through-the-line “Sweeet” campaign hits all consumer touch points extending from TV, digital and press to bespoke in-store shopper marketing activity. Three new TV adverts were created each focusing on one of the following McVitie’s biscuit brands: Jaffa Cakes, Digestives, and Chocolate Digestives.
Harnessing the power of the McVitie’s brand, UB plans to modernise and grow the McVitie’s brand by unlocking new occasions and creating fresh interest in biscuits to drive sales for retailers. The re-launch has been successful year-to-date increasing sweet biscuits market share by +1.2pts to 20.2% in value and by +2.5pts to 24.4% in volume**.
*(Source: Kantar Worldpanel – ‘100 master brands at home’ 2014)
**(Source: AC Nielsen 13 July 2014)
Because taste matters with Carr’s
Up 8.9%* in value year-to-date, the savoury biscuit category shows no sign of slowing as United Biscuits (UB) continues its plan to drive even stronger market growth. United Biscuits was the fastest growing manufacturer within savoury last year driven by the successful launches of Oddities and Flatbreads and the brand believes 2014 looks to be even stronger as UB embarks on a major re-launch of its savoury portfolio. As part of the overarching masterbrand strategy, UB will be moving all of its savoury brands to sit under the Carr’s masterbrand to help simplify the shopping experience.
The story of Carr’s first began in 1831 when Dodgson Carr set up a small bakery in the city of Carlisle. Carr’s Table Water in their original form first appeared in the late 19th century as a refinement of the ship’s biscuits. Water instead of fat was used to blend the dry ingredients in order to keep the biscuits fresher on long sea voyages. Carr’s Table Water with their delicate crisp texture proved extremely popular with seafarers. Carr’s Table Water are still baked today using traditional brick ovens in the proud tradition established by Jonathan Dodgson Carr.
The brand believes Carr’s is as much loved today as it was back then and UB plans to expand the Carr’s range with the launch of a number of exciting new products. Under the Carr’s masterbrand, UB will continue to drive savoury biscuits’ growth by unlocking new occasions and recruiting younger consumers. Available now, the launches include new Carr’s Crispbreads and Carr’s Cream Crackers while also refreshing the popular Oddities and Flatbread ranges with new flavours.
The Carr’s re-launch kicked off in July and will continue to be supported throughout the year with a multi-media “Because taste matters” campaign. A brand new TV ad has been developed by local Irish advertising agency, DDFH&B, to create awareness and drive trial of the new Carr’s range. The through-the-line campaign hits all consumer touch points extending from TV, digital and press to bespoke in-store shopper marketing activity.
In store now, the new Carr’s Lunchtime Crispbreads are even bigger and tastier crackers that are ideal as part of a satisfying lunch or a light snack on-the-go. Available in three variants, each carton contains five portion packs, each with a serving of four crispbreads. Whether it’s chive, mixed grain baked with wheat, rye and barley or mixed seed with poppy and pumpkin seeds, there’s something to suit every taste. Each portion pack is designed especially for lunch (equivalent to two slices of bread) and the handy packaging keeps the product fresh and easy to include in a lunchbox. With the strong “Because taste matters” marketing campaign airing throughout the year, retailers should be sure to stock up to take advantage of the consumer demand that will be generated and consider positioning this range in-store as a secondary siting near the chilled meats and cheeses for the lunchtime occasion.
From the nation’s favourite table water cracker comes a new great tasting cream cracker range. The range consists of three variants including a standard 200g Cream Cracker Pack, a larger 300g Family Pack and a handy Snack Pack format, which has eight individually wrapped packs for freshness. The new cream cracker range is perfect for all the family; as an afternoon snacking solution or as a key lunch box component. This new range also features in the “Because taste matters” campaign.
Following its successful launch last year, the Oddities range is undergoing a slight update as it is re-launched under the Carr’s masterbrand. In addition to the popular Salt & Vinegar and Bacon flavours, a new Cheese & Onion flavour is now available, replacing Sour Cream & Chive. The brand will also be adding more fun by including eight new shapes including pineapples, owls, windmills and boats.
There is something from Carr’s to suit every meal time occasion and taste preference, allowing consumers young and old to enjoy Carr’s any way they like. The brand advises retailers to stock up now as Carr’s leads the taste revolution in the savoury biscuit aisle.
Burton’s urges focus on ‘treatier’ biscuits
Burton’s believes the biscuit market continues to provide great profit potential for retailers, particularly for those that recognise the role that ‘treatier’ biscuits can play.
“A significant proportion of customer spend in this category is on ‘treatier’ biscuits, purchased either for a special occasion or as part of an everyday routine,” says David Costello, Burton’s biscuit company’s head of Customer Category Management.
“It’s the big brands that resonate most with shoppers on the high street, and Maryland Cookies, Wagon Wheels and Jammie Dodgers are ones which capture people’s attention and generate most interest on-shelf.”
Category growing NPD also continues to play an important part in enabling retail outlets to make the most of shelf space.
Burton’s is known for its category boosting product innovation; most recently it announced that it was bolstering its iconic children’s brand, Jammie Dodgers, with the launch of a new variant, Jammie Dodgers Berry Blast.
“This new variant goes to show that Burton’s continues to launch some of the most innovative products in the marketplace, offering more choice for consumers, and transforming the biscuit aisle through its ‘power brands’.
“Maryland has also continued to go from strength to strength since the launch of Maryland Gooeys in 2013, garnering a fantastic response from consumers.”
Maryland Gooeys are crunchy choc chip cookies filled with a chocolatey, gooey centre. They are available in three 160g varieties – Chocolate, Hazelnut and Triple Chocolate.
New Jammie Dodgers Berry Blast are available in 140g packs.
A feast of family favourites
Jacob’s, Ireland’s number one biscuit brand*, has an impressive array of family favourites including Fig Rolls, Kimberley, Mikado, Coconut Creams, Elite, Cream Crackers, Club Milk and Jaffa Cakes. It has been a busy year for Jacob’s with a number of high profile launches that have truly captured the attention of the Irish consumer.
Jacob’s J-O’s were successfully introduced to the market late last year and the brand has been a huge hit with its crunchy, creamy biscuits and catchy theme tune. Made with a cocoa flavoured biscuit base and top and filled with a sweet vanilla cream, the range includes two tempting varieties: vanilla roll pack and milk chocolate covered snack packs.
In the healthy and savoury segments, Jacob’s also introduced some exciting innovations. Tuc Sour Cream & Onion flavour has been a huge success for the brand, adding over €1 million worth of sales to the Tuc brand since launch last year. The latest new addition – Tuc Bacon has just been introduced with an eye-catching advertising campaign to support the launch. Jacob’s Rice Cakes were introduced late last year and are already one of the brand’s star performers. The range includes Natural, Salted, Milk and Dark Chocolate varieties and most recently the company has added a tasty new Yoghurt variant. Jacob’s has some further new product news – its new Jacob’s Crispbreads have just been launched. Available in two flavours, Original and Sesame, the range are wrapped in handy portion packs which are perfect for on-the-go.
*(Source: Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 27 April 2014)