Breakfast biscuits contain more saturated fat - and less fibre - than McVitie’s Hobnobs, research by The Grocer has revealed.

The breakfast market is one of the most dynamic parts of the biscuit category. Sales of pioneer Belvita have rocketed 85% by value to £41.8m [SymphonyIRI 52 w/e 4 August 2012], overtaking Cadbury’s Fingers, McVitie’s Penguin and Maryland cookies. This performance, and launches from Kellogg’s and McVitie’s, have helped to drive much of the growth in overall biscuit sales.

But despite being positioned as a wholesome start to the day, breakfast biscuits investigated by The Grocer contain more saturated fat than biscuit barrel favourites McVitie’s Digestives, Rich Tea and Hobnobs.

Suppliers say the fibre and added vitamins and minerals in breakfast biscuits make them a suitable breakfast option, but even in fibre content, only Belvita’s Fruit & Fibre and Kellogg’s breakfast biscuits - which contain 12g to 19g of fibre per 100g - can trump the 5.5g of fibre per 100g found in Hobnobs.

“Unlike everyday biscuits, our breakfast biscuits contain six B vitamins, iron and calcium, and have 35% more wholegrain than the leading breakfast biscuit competitor,” said Sanjeev Khanna, Kellogg’s UK head of speciality, adding that the extra vitamins and minerals allowed Kellogg’s to offer “the nutrition of cereal in a biscuit”.

Nutritionist Kate Cook said the positioning of breakfast biscuits was misleading. “You make the assumption something called ‘breakfast’ is going to be a meal - not worse than a biscuit.”

UB strategy director Mark Sugden admitted breakfast biscuits tended to be positioned to target “people looking for healthier options”.