Chocolate biscuit sales hit by obesity concerns

By Karen Willmer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Mintel

Sales of chocolate biscuits in the UK fell 17 per cent between 2001
and 2006 as consumers made the switch to healthier varieties,
according to new figures.

Mintel reported this week that the UK chocolate biscuits market was worth £353m in 2006 compared to £427m in 2001, whereas healthier biscuits grew from £34m to £316m during the same period. "Government guidelines over school dinners and worries over childhood obesity mean that children's biscuit varieties and chocolate biscuits are also losing favour,"​ Mintel said this week. However, overall sales of biscuits have grown by 23.9 per cent between 2001 and 2006, with the market valued at £1,462 in 2006. The biggest market growth was within special treat biscuits, a segment that grew 43.8 per cent between 2001 and 2006. However, healthier biscuits containing oats, honey and wholegrain grew 11.7 per cent between 2005 and 2006 alone, Mintel said. "Over the past five years, value growth has outstripped volume sales, signalling consumer's lighter consumption habits and a willingness to trade up to more expensive and indulgent products,"​ the company said. Sales of McVitie's Go Ahead biscuits grew 10.7 per cent between 2005 and 2006, whereas sales of digestives and rich tea biscuits declines 10.3 and 11.1 per cent respectively. This highlights the increase in demand for healthier options compared to the traditional biscuits. Mintel said only 15 per cent of Britons now still indulge in daily biscuit eating, replacing this 'British tradition' with healthier snacks. However, 24 per cent of people over 65 still treat themselves to a morning biscuit, the company said.

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