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●Biscuits have lost £4.7m (–1.4%), despite a strong performance from sweet, treat-based sectors. Decline has been driven by shoppers buying less per trip, despite an increase in trip frequency. 

● There has been a category-wide move away from volume promotions in favour of temporary price cuts, and an extra £53m in full-price sales.

● Premiumisation has been a factor, as illustrated by the growth of more premium brands such as Fudge’s and Bahlsen, along with the rise of the sharing pouch, ‘more permissible’ thins and healthier lines.

● Own-label biscuits continue to grow (+5%) whereas branded are in decline (–3.7%) due to inflationary pressures. 

●Cakes is in 2% growth, driven by increased prices. Small cakes are up 5.9%, with NPD focusing on bitesize tubs. As with biscuits, most sectors are moving to full-price sales.

● Branded cakes are in slight decline (–0.9%), while own label is driving category growth (+2.4%), with in-store bakery a major contributor.

Tesni Jones / Kantar Worldpanel

Biscuits Take-Home Sales
52 w/e 18 June 2017   VALUE   VOLUME
  £m y-o-y% kg(m) y-o-y%
Everyday Treats 391.0 1.2 115.9 -0.8
Crackers & Crispbreads 344.4 -2.4 66.2 -1.7
Chocolate Biscuit Bars 344.1 -3.3 68.0 -0.8
Cereal + Fruit Bars 303.1 -3.7 37.8 -4.6
Everyday Biscuits 297.8 -0.8 157.2 0.7
Healthier Biscuits 208.5 -0.8 39.4 2.6
Special Treats 179.2 1.5 25.3 3
Confect. & Other Exclusions 169.8 -2.6 31.2 0
Seasonal Biscuits 157.6 9 26.5 6.6
Savoury Biscuits 153.8 -7.3 23.8 -1.8
Children's Biscuits 106.1 -4.3 18.4 -5.1
Total Biscuits 2655.9 -1.4 610.4 -0.2
52 w/e 18 June 2017   VALUE   VOLUME
  £m y-o-y% kg(m) y-o-y%
Small Cakes   514.1 5.9 593.9 18.8
Whole Cake   339.6 -3.8 167.6 -14.8
Slices   101.6 -10.1 93.3 -13.4
Small Tarts   94.0 10.5 93.0 7.9
Mince Pies   89.8 1.4 82.6 -0.5
Small Swiss Roll   66.5 4.2 52.2 0.7
Muffins   57.2 -2.6 50.8 -3.0
Cake Bars   45.6 24 43.5 5.6
Large Swiss Roll   44.0 2.9 34.7 -1.4
Malt Loaf   42.7 6 49.4 3.0
Fruit Pies   36.6 5.5 38.0 1.9
Fruit Loaf   32.8 2.3 30.9 1.3
Flapjack   32.7 9 34.3 3.1
Large Tart/Pies   26.2 -5 24.9 -1.6
Total Cakes 1554.3 2.0 1415.0 6.6

● Biscuits might be down overall, according to IRI, but Oreo is still rolling ahead. With a growth rate of 20% year on year since its introduction to the UK market in 2008, according to its maker Mondelez, ‘milk’s favourite cookie’ is now worth £51m.

● Belvita’s jump in value and volume sales will come as no surprise to many, as consumers increasingly reach for on-the-go snacks and healthier treats. Mondelez’s continued expansion of the range with Soft Bakes to tap the demand for ‘soft’ breakfast items two years ago has added £20m of sales to the brand. 

● Increased competition in the savoury biscuit market has resulted in Ryvita suffering the biggest loss in value sales among the top-10 biscuits. A new multimillion pound marketing campaign and new product development “in the pipeline” is hoped to “re-engage consumers” as the self-proclaimed “leading healthy biscuit brand” looks to a return to growth. 

● The ongoing move away from everyday biscuits to more indulgent offerings is Pladis’ explanation for a near 4% drop in value sales of its McVitie’s Digestives. A change in retailer promotional strategies from multibuys to price cuts and a cutback on off-shelf features is also taking its toll on sales of Britain’s biggest biscuit brand.


● Just three of the top 10 cake brands saw value sales fall in the last year, with Kingsmill suffering the most with over £8m wiped off. Improvements to its crumpets range in February by producer Allied Bakeries have improved sales since, though – doubling its market share between February and July, according to the brand. A new refresh of its packaging is also planned for next year. 

● For all of Kingsmill’s struggles, Soreen continues to go from strength to strength as it “focuses on building a loyal brand following”. The British baker’s expansion of its on-the-go range and a 27% increase in like-for-like sales of its lunchbox loaves have also helped increase volume sales by a whopping 24%. 

● Cadbury cakes’ momentum has continued under its licence with Premier Foods with an uplift in promotional activity for its mini rolls and improved recipe and design of its cake bars. A “clear and focused strategy” through a raft of NPD has “stretched the brand” into new territories. 

● Despite still being the nation’s favourite cake brand, Mr Kipling has seen a slump in value sales. Producer Premier Foods claims its summer campaign has made a “big difference” to numbers and it is “now seeing green shoots”.