In a world increasingly concerned about health and aesthetics, people are looking for healthier versions of foods not usually regarded as such. For this reason, Mintel has undertaken a market study to see what trends are having the most success (e.g. no added sugars, light, vegan) but, in this case, we are talking about biscuits and cookies.

Despite pressure from governments, healthcare, and to some extent consumers, the food industry has been slow to reduce sugar content, but current trends include:

  • Permissible snacking, i.e. biscuits made from nutritionally dense ingredients, such as teff flour – a gluten-free ancient North Africa – which resonates with consumers
  • Snacks with benefits, i.e. products that increase intake(s) that support immune function 

Product options can be categorised as ‘minus’, ‘native’, ‘plus’, ‘functional’, and ‘suitable for’. In Europe, natural is the most favoured by consumers whilst ‘no added sugar’ in sweet biscuits is growing slowly from a previously niche position, with maltitol the most popular sugar substitute. Consumers know very little about most sweeteners, so it would be good to provide more information about alternatives, like erythritol and xylitol, and improve consumers’ perceptions about these ingredients.

Consumption of some biscuits and/ or cookies brands are increasing because their recipes have been made healthier with, for example, addition of more plant protein to maintain satiety. Consumers no longer just look at calories, but also want biscuits and/ or cookies to provide benefits, but the role of ‘digestives’ in gut health are still to be validated as a health claim.

Among the benefits these functional biscuits and/ or cookies might bring are improved quality of sleep and relaxation, using three ingredients, specifically lavender, chamomile, and cannabis – the high cannabidiol low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) variety! Mintel’s Food & Drink Trend the Night Shift explored how modern life is creating a market for products that help people relax before bedtime. Other brands have focused on supporting the immune system, with iron, spelt or honey.

Mintel is a worldwide company, they provide analysis of consumer trends, markets, new products and on competitive landscapes to help their clients making better business decisions and faster. This webinar took place on 29thJune as part of the EU-funded project SWEET (Sweeteners and sweetness enhancers: Impact on health, obesity, safety and sugars). The Webinar was organised by Mintel GNPD, specifically Giorgia Pasqualetto.

For more information visit https://www.mintel.com/about-mintel 

For more information about SWEET: https://sweetproject.eu/sweet-project-update-may-2020/

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