Obese consumers are choosing healthier cake and biscuit options.

Figures produced for the Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Association by TNS Worldpanel show that 58% of meal occasions in the 'better for you' cakes category are accounted for by overweight people.

With biscuits, 58% again of the 'better for you' occasions are accounted for by the obese and overweight.

The figures will fuel calls from the industry for the Food Standards Agency to recognise that where healthy choices exist, shoppers who are obese or at risk of obesity are opting for them. Many fear the FSA will force manufacturers to reformulate standard products so they contain less fat and sugar in a bid to halt the rise of obesity levels (The Grocer, 14 October, p6).

Penny Hawley, director general of the BCCCA, said: "Health is increasingly the driver of product choice with more consumers choosing products such as reduced fat biscuits and cakes. This is reflected in trends within the biscuit, cake, chocolate and confectionery sectors. The industry has worked hard to formulate and develop healthier alternatives, and consumers are increasingly willing to buy these products."

TNS data for The Grocer's Cakes and Biscuits report shows healthier biscuits grew 10.7% in the last year, while growth for the biscuit category as a whole stood at 2.6% [TNS Worldpanel 52

w/e 16 July 06].

Linda Hipkiss, marketing director of General Mills, added: "The healthier biscuits category is showing consistent growth and driving overall biscuits market performance."