Innovations in cakes and biscuits are inevitably shaped by pressures to eat more healthily, with lower in fat and sugar formats at one level and new products that deliver more indulgent tastes for those times when consumers treat themselves at another level. But the flow of innovations has been slow, with limited new product evaluations through Fast Foodfax® or the Branded and Own Label Excellence Awards conducted in partnership with The Grocer over the past year. Many of those tested lack the mainstream appeal of traditional cakes and biscuits, either because they use a healthier base, such as rice, or a high seed content that, while nutritious, also polarised opinions.There is a measure of guilt associated with consumption in this category so consumers look for a high quality of product delivery when letting go, increasingly reserving these choices for occasions when new brands and formats can add to the sense of something special.

Marmite Rice Cakes SCORE: 37 AVERAGE: 35

Love or hate them, these rice cakes certainly polarised opinions. But purchase intention rose strongly after trial, with 50% of shoppers saying they would consider buying them.

Tesco Granola Slices SCORE: 33 AVERAGE: 36

A moist and sweet slice that tasted much better than it looked. A dull pack didn't help, but appealed strongly to a sizeable minority as an occasional choice.

McVitie's Heat to Treat - Double Chocolate Cakes SCORE: 35 AVERAGE: 37

A novel concept, but the cakes proved rather dry when tried. The cakes were especially popular in the north and among younger consumers.