Biscuit manufacturer Pladis has announced that biscuits were purchased by 99% of UK households in 2016 despite a sales plunge in overall performance.
According to Pladis’ annual biscuit review - Biscuits in Britain 2016: A Year of Change - biscuits were consumed on average three times a week and on nearly 6 billion occasions in 2016, making the category the second largest snack food, outperforming crisps, cakes and popcorn.
However, the report outlined that the overall sales performance of the category fell due to ‘The Great British Biscuit Shortage’.
The floods across Cumbria following the devastation of Storm Desmond in December 2015 resulted in the closure of Pladis’ Carlisle factory, which affected the production of Everyday Biscuits for four months.
The changing promotional landscape was another contributing factor, with retailers’ promotional strategies changing from multi-buy deals to single price points.
James Thomas, UK head of category development at Pladis, said the company could be confident about the future of biscuits.
“We see biscuits moving with the times and continuing to fulfil both shopper and consumer needs,” Thomas said. Biscuits play an important role within snacking and are well-placed to respond to evolving category drivers and future headwinds.
“The biscuit category will evolve and respond to these challenges by continuing to improve the shopping experience, delivering consumer-led innovation and ensuring ranges meet shopper needs.”
The biscuit category is currently worth £2.4bn, and Pladis revealed that over 22% market share was driven by the McVitie’s brand, with sales reaching over £343 million. This was complemented by the biggest sweet biscuit launch for 10 years, McVitie’s Digestives Nibbles in December 2016, it added.