With Irish people famous for their love of a nice cup of tea, it should go without saying that we’re fond of a biscuit to go with it. So then, competition is strong among the biscuit brands, with a combination of tradition and innovation permeating both old and new. This month, we take a look at some of the new offerings that are hitting shelves in time for the winter, writes Doug Whelan
11 September 2017
At a glance: Biscuits
- Ireland’s sweet biscuit category grew by 3% in value terms in 2016, totaling €315m*
- In terms of retail sale price, the market has risen steadily, from €213m in 2013, to €219m in 2014 and €222m in 2015
- In 2015, most Irish consumers preferred private label biscuits, a category which reached a share of 20.7% in terms of RSP
- Meanwhile, in the UK, a massive 99% of consumers eat biscuits an average of three times a week, on nearly six billion occasions
- The UK biscuit market is worth £2.4bn annually
- Pladis was formed when a series of global biscuit brands were merged by their parent company. They included Godiva Chocolatier, United Biscuits, Ulker and DeMet’s Candy Company
- Together they formed a $5.2bn giant with 36 factories in 13 countries and more than 26,000 employees
With the McVitie’s brand, Pladis, the international biscuit company, plans to modernize and grow the category by creating fresh interest in biscuits. Loved by Irish families for generations, McVitie’s continues to excite and delight consumers with a steady stream of winning innovations.
2016 was a very successful year for McVitie’s, which saw the launch of McVitie’s Digestive Nibbles. The brand is maintaining that momentum in 2017 with a range of further launches.
These new range extensions include McVitie’s Milk Chocolate Hobnobs Nibbles, McVitie’s Digestive Banoffee Caramels and McVitie’s Digestive Coffee Caramels. Uniquely delicious Caramels have a sweet wheaty base, smothered with a secret layer of caramel, topped off with a chocolate covering, making it a perfect evening treat.
Parent company Pladis has marked its ongoing commitment to unlocking new occasions for growth in the biscuit category with the launch of its hero sweet NPD for 2017 – McVitie’s Digestives Thins. A thin and light biscuit with a delicate crisp texture, covered in scrumptious chocolate, McVitie’s Thins allow consumers to enjoy the taste of McVitie’s Digestives biscuits in a modern and more refined way. McVitie’s Thins are available in three variants – Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate Cappuccino and Dark Chocolate. The launch will be supported with an ATL marketing campaign kicking off this month.
With an 11% growth in value MAT*, Carr’s is leading what it calls a “taste revolution” in savoury biscuits. The brand is renowned for its quality and its expertise, and for continuously evolving its range to ensure consumers are inspired with tasty meal solutions every day.
Earlier this year, Carr’s launched its Ciabatta Crackers, a first for the savoury category. This unique new product combines the taste of ciabatta bread with the lightness and crunch of a cracker, all while a fresh pack design reflects the Mediterranean origins of the product. Carr’s current Flatbreads and Crispbreads range have also gotten a new look and feel this summer, reflecting on their own taste credentials.
This year, Carr’s also partnered with RTÉ Player and rising star chef Adrian Martin to launch his first food series ‘Chef Adrian Eats Ireland’. The six-part RTÉ Player online show is dedicated to showcasing Ireland’s most popular restaurant dishes, and visiting Ireland’s best restaurants, as decided by an online poll.
Niamh Twyford, head of marketing at Carr’s, says the brand is delighted to be partnering with RTÉ and Martin on the new series. “As a brand,” Twyford says, “we are constantly innovating and bringing fantastic new premium tasting products to our discerning customers. Together with chef Adrian, we want to encourage the Irish nation to create great tasting food with quality ingredients that are easy to prepare and that everyone can enjoy.”
For recipe inspiration, log on to carrs.ie, and watch ‘Chef Adrian Eats Ireland’, in association with Carr’s, on rte.ie/player/ie.
*(Source: Nielsen, MAT, w/c 13 August 2017)
First of many
Celebrating a year since it emerged onto the Irish food scene, East Coast Bakehouse now boasts no less than eight SKUs across eight cookies, half-coated and plain sweet segments. In order to capture a share of the growing on-the-go segment, the brand recently launched two twin-packs, in the shape of Choc Chunk Cookie and Milk Choc Enrobed Cookie.
Made with Irish butter and Irish oats and proudly baked in Drogheda, Co. Louth by a team of passionate biscuit bakers, East Coast Bakehouse is targeting Irish biscuit lovers who are seeking better biscuits with quality ingredients, as well as attracting consumers from imported biscuits, which currently account for 99% of biscuits sold in Ireland.
Baking biscuits that people love is the number one priority at East Coast Bakehouse. The brand says it wants to produce biscuits with “just that bit extra” that will get people talking. That little bit extra is already being demonstrated, with four of the range having been selected as Blas na hÉireann finalists in 2017.
With an ongoing commitment to brand investment that includes radio, sampling, digital, PR and shopper marketing, East Coast Bakehouse aims to capture a significant share in its core segments. Available in 12 x 160g shelf-ready packaging and with an RRP of €1.90 – €2.55, the East Coast Bakehouse range is firmly targeted at the mainstream biscuit consumer with more exciting biscuit launches across the biscuit category in the coming months.
To stock up now, contact Tennent & Ruttle or your local wholesaler/cash and carry.
160 years of joy
As Ireland’s favourite take-home snack brand, Jacob’s experienced strong growth in 2016. According to the Kantar Brand Footprint Report*, Irish consumers selected Jacob’s products for their baskets 3.4% more than in 2015. Meanwhile, for the second year running, Jacob’s products could be found in more Irish homes than any other brand in the country.
In terms of NPD, 2016 was also an exciting year for the brand. Jacob’s Caffè di Milano 175g launched into grocery in April, and marked the most successful indulgent biscuit launch in 2016. The range’s sales totalled just under €1m. Subsequently, in June, Jacob’s Caffè di Milano Breaks, a 45g on-the-go pack of the Italian wafer biscuits, launched into retail convenience.
Since then, 2017 has continued to bring even more exciting innovation for the Caffé Di Milano portfolio with the launch of Caffé Di Milano Wafer Rolls. A range of light and crispy wafer rolls with a generous filling smothered in milk chocolate, Caffé Di Milano Wafer Rolls are available in Double Chocolate and Caramel varieties.
As a brand, Jacob’s is proud to have been an integral part of Irish homes for more than 160 years. The company plans to continue to tailor its product range to the ever-evolving tastes and lifestyles of Irish consumers.
*(Source: Kantar Worldpanel 100 Masterbrands at Home. No. 33 Shelf Life, June 2017)