Commodity Innovation Series – Snapshot of Opportunities in the United Kingdom's Grain Sector
The United Kingdom (U.K.) is the fifth-largest consumer of bread in Western Europe
- Consumer trends toward healthy eating and natural products are increasing the demand for specialty breads with functional ingredients that are high in protein, rich in dietary fibre, and that contain antioxidants such as magnesium, iron, and folate
- "Super grains", such as quinoa, millet, and buckwheat, offer baked goods and flour companies a variety of options for taking advantage of current health trends and increasing price-point
- The U.K. is the twenty-second largest importer of grains in the world and the sixth-largest in the European Union (EU), with imports worth US$1.2 billion in 2016
- In 2016, Canada was the U.K.'s third-largest supplier of grains in the world, worth US$92.1 million
- 73% of the U.K.'s grain imports were maize, wheat and muslin, and semi-milled or wholly milled rice. The combined import value of these products was US$909.6 million in 2016
Historic and forecast retail sales
The energy bars category experienced the most growth with sales increasing by 181.7% from 2012 to 2016
- Bread is expected to remain the most significant category in terms of value from 2017 to 2021, with a moderate growth rate of 1.9%
- The hot cereals category experienced significant growth over the last five years, increasing by 38.8%, reaching retail sales worth US$421.9 million in 2016
- Retail sales of plain biscuits are expected to decline by 0.9% from 2017 to 2021
Grains used as an ingredient
- Top product launch categories were cold cereals, snack/cereal/energy bars, and bread and bread products
- Grocery retailers Warburton's and Tesco, have both recently launched high-protein bakery products, including loaves, rolls, thins, and wraps. Marks & Spencer offers additional fibre in its entire packaged bread range
From 2012 to 2016, 172 products containing wheat and oats were launched in the U.K.
Description of above image
|Company||Number of products launched||Top Brand|
|Morrisons||10||M Signature WM Morrison|
|Quaker Oats||8||Oat So Simple|
British consumers want clean labels and products with reduced fat and sugar content
Top 5 growing claims
- Ethical – Environmental
- Bone Health
- Social Media
- Low/No/Reduced Trans fat
- Genetically modified organism (GMO) Free
Top 5 declining claims
- High/Added Fiber
Consumers are increasingly seeking products in convenient or miniature formats
Top package type
- Flexible stand-up pouch
Top packaged materials
- Metallised film
- Polypropylene plastic
- Multi laminate
- Coloured glass
63% of product launches were new products, varieties, ranges and extensions.
|Innovation Criteria||United States||France||Australia||Germany||Mexico||UK||Brazil||Spain||Canada||China|
|New Product||Good||Very good||Very good||Very good||Very good||Very good||Good||Very good||Good||Excellent|
|Product Line Diversity||Good||Fair||Fair||Fair||Fair||Fair||Fair||Fair||Fair||Fair|
|Health and Wellness Claims||Excellent||Very good||Excellent||Very good||Excellent||Excellent||Very good||Very good||Very good||Very good|
|Product Innovation Rating Scale: Excellent (17-20), Very good (13-16), Good (9-12), Fair (5-8), Low (0-4)|
Factors of consideration
- The European Union (EU) is a common market and imports must comply with applicable EU regulations and food safety requirements for parameters such as mycotoxins
- Custom duties are applied to all products and rates depend on a variety of factors. Value-added tax, insurance, and freight cost should be included in import value.
- Imports from a third country must identify the country of origin
- The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU will reduce tariffs. For more details, please consult our CETA page where you will find a Factsheet on cereal preparations.
Recommendation for entry
- Develop a clear market strategy and an extended knowledge of the targeted market prior to entry.
- Develop a good understanding of procedures and regulations to avoid imports being detained for non-compliance. Make sure that you are aware of other requirements may apply (for example, labelling, packaging, prohibited additives).
- Work with a reputable local partner who can assist with market knowledge and accessing business networks.
- Consult with your importer to be aware of all the requirements applicable in the market you want to reach.
How can we help
View our Agri-Food Trade Services for information and support to help you achieve your international business goals.
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