There was a bit of interest generated around the World Cup from McVitie's advertising activity and on-pack promotions, but hot weather rarely boosts cake sales, especially chocolate-covered lines so this summer wasn't great.
Recent launches include the Mr Kipling Delightful range of Cherry Bakewell Slices and McVitie's carrot cake, Mars muffins and Mini rolls but neither has made a particularly strong impact.
Nestlé has performed well as a branded supplier, albeit from a small base.
Overall, however, there has been no NPD that I would consider as really making an impact and this lack is a big disappointment. Innovation is urgently needed to grow the market in real terms. There has been little in the way of strong in-store activity or promotions either.
Health concerns will definitely be a factor in the future. Interest in healthy eating and a range of government and media advice on the contents of school lunchboxes and so on could have some effect on sales of healthier, low-fat lines in the longer term.
However, like many indulgence, impulse-driven markets, promotions are key to maintaining and driving growth and, while I would like to see suppliers investing more in NPD, they also need to maintain strong promotional activity.