Despite an increasingly competitive environment and the impact of a global economic downturn the biscuits market in Europe is alive and well, according to a news report from Esmerk.
In France the launch of new products has proved a strong driving force behind growth in the breakfast biscuit sector, achieving a turnover of €77 million in 2002.
The number of products within this sector has expanded substantially, with hypermarkets now stocking an average of 15 different items and supermarkets an average of nine, continues the report.
There has also been a 40 per cent increase in the amount of shelf space devoted to breakfast biscuits, reaching an average of 2.9 metres. However, some believe that there is still insufficient shelf space allocated to breakfast biscuits in comparison with the turnover they generate and with their potential. This view is supported by the fact that the penetration rate for breakfast biscuits rose from 23 per cent in 2001 to 32 per cent in 2002.
So who will future marketing be aimed at? Recent studies indicate that although men and women consume the same quantity of biscuits, it is in fact the ladies who purchase them more often. This phenomenon will likely mean that food manufacturers keen to push their biscuits will target women.
According to a report on the food ingredients company Danisco website a recent study in Finland found that women aged 20-49, and men aged 15-19, or 30-49 are the largest consumer groups for biscuits. In 1999, Finns ate 3.7 kilos of biscuits per person per year with six per cent consuming chocolate biscuits or filled biscuits every day, and 14 per cent every week.