Sales of biscuits defied tough economic conditions last year to grow by 3.6% in value.

According to a report by the HGCA, based on Kantar Worldpanel data, growth in the UK biscuit market was driven by the key trends of health and convenience, with pack sales increasing by 2% last year compared to 2012.

‘Healthier biscuits’ made the largest percentage gains – up around 30% in terms of number of pack sold – while children’s biscuits and ‘everyday treats’ also made gains.

Growth in breakfast biscuits was also particularly strong, tapping into consumer demand for convenience and portability, said the report.

“Biscuits appear to have weathered the storms that affected some other categories in the face of tight consumer budgets,” said the report.

“However, with consumer confidence increasing once more and a potential rise in budgets available for snacking, biscuits will need to maintain the market share they have accrued when faced with greater competition from other snacking options.”

The HGCA is part of the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board – a levy-based organisation focused on making agriculture and horticulture industries more competitive.