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Young British consumers have taste for traditional biscuits, says Mintel

By Oliver Nieburg , 25-Jun-2012
Last updated on 26-Jun-2012 at 10:02 GMT

Young British consumers have taste for traditional biscuits, says Mintel

UK consumers aged between 16-24 have the biggest appetite for traditional British biscuits such as Custard Cream and Bourbon, according to a survey from Mintel.

It found that with six in ten (60%) young consumers disagreed that traditional biscuits are boring, compared to 55% of their older counterparts (55+).

Alex Beckett, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel, said: “The youth of Britain is growing up immersed in digital media, text-speak and cutting-edge gadgetry but this doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate a good old-fashioned Custard Cream.”

Consumption habits

He said these biscuit varieties did not have the marketing backing of big-name brands, but it was the “lack of try-hard advertising ” as well as the cheaper price compared to “ increasingly chocolate-laden new launches” that appeals to them.

Mintel found that 70% of young consumers would opt for a biscuit as an indulgent treat, compared to 62% of over 55s.

However, the older age category was likely to consume their biscuits with a hot drink.

Two in five (38%) were found to consumer biscuits at work or college or university,.

Biscuit launches in the UK have risen steadily in the UK with new product launches doubling between 2007 and 2011 and a further 300 products launched in the past 12 months, said Mintel.

Healthier varieties

However, many consumers said they felt guilty about eating biscuits, particularly women, with almost half calling biscuits a guilty pleasure.

Minetl noticed a strong demand for healthier biscuit options with 40% saying they would eat more biscuits if they were lower in sugar. However, these varieties were widely perceived to be bland in taste.

 “Women have rather a conflicted relationship with biscuits. They are more likely than men to indulge in them as a treat, but are then far more likely to feel guilty about it.“

Unfortunately, the healthy biscuits that are on the market are tarnished with a bland reputation, making that chocolate biscuit all the more tempting,” said Beckett.

In 2011, no additives or preservatives were likeliest health claims for new products, accounting for a quarter of new product launches in the sweet biscuit sector in the UK, said Mintel.

UK biscuit sales have climbed 26% since 2006 to £1.4 billion in 2011 and is forecast to grow another 21% to £1.7 billion by 2016, according to Mintel estimates.

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