Savoury biscuits are shrinking - not the category, but in terms of actual size.
Manufacturers are launching mini versions of old favourites in snack packs to tempt consumers to eat biscuits throughout the day, and not just after dinner with cheese.
This summer, Jacob’s launched Baby Tuc in Original and Barbecue varieties and backed them with a big TV campaign. It aims to get families snacking on the product, at home or on the go, thereby opening up more consumption opportunities.
Jeremy Hughes, Jacobs’ customer marketing controller, says: “Baby Tuc is doing especially well, partly because it’s a more contemporary product - going into little packets has really worked for us.”
He reckons healthy issues are driving the growth in savoury biscuits and crackers and because Jacob’s products are baked, they have a the health halo of
products are not targeted by the anti-obesity lobby.
Rob Murray, Ryvita’s marketing director, says healthy new biscuits that can be eaten as a snack will do really well with shoppers.
He also urges retailers to recognise that the healthy snacking category needs particular merchandising. “Shoppers find it odd that healthy products are next to the biscuits for cheese.”
Ryvita’s new bagged Minis product is being promoted as a healthy snack and neatly fits this need.
“Crispbreads have traditionally been used for a light lunch or with cheese but
new products such as Ryvita Minis represent a completely new usage occasion.”
Innovation has resulted in crackers and crispbreads being worth £206m, up 4% [TNS Superpanel, 52w/e August 15, 2004], with Ryvita driving crispbread growth.
Jacob’s Thai range has been broadened with the launch of Thai Fusions rice and potato crackers. They’re small snacks made with Thai ingredients and are available in three flavours - roasted chilli and sour cream, sesame and prawn, and red curry and coriander.
Jacob’s Hughes says that it’s important to deliver a positive health message and not just take something out of a product to make it healthier.
“We’re trying to change shoppers’ perceptions of a boring category and want retailers to make the most of the opportunity.”
But the days of the niche product are numbered, warns Ryvita’s Murray.
“There’ll be plenty of innovation in future which means retailers will have to rationalise their offer, weeding out those products that don’t have a clear role.”