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Health and Wellness Series - Healthy Biscuits, Snacks and Snack Bar Trends in the United Kingdom

March 2017

Health and Wellness Series - Healthy Biscuits, Snacks and Snack Bar Trends in the United Kingdom (PDF Version, 810KB) | Help with downloadable formats

Contents

Executive summary

Introduction

Health and wellness snacks, biscuits and snack bars are popular in the United Kingdom, largely due to the fact that UK consumers value healthy and convenient food (Euromonitor International, 2015). In particular, breakfast bars, such as flapjacks (a British specialty), are important parts of the British national diet. Fortified and functional breakfast bars and energy bars allow consumers to get crucial nutrients on the go, whereas naturally healthy fruit bars and granola bars allow them to pack fruits and grains conveniently into their lunches. Snacking is particularly British. The United Kingdom was responsible for 34% of health and wellness (HW) snack bar sales, 30% of HW biscuit sales and 23% of HW sweet and savoury snack sales in the European Union (Euromonitor International, 2016). In all of these sectors, the United Kingdom is the single largest market.

Snack bars, as a category, face competition from biscuits, which usually have a higher caloric content, more fat or more sugar. While biscuits are usually considered less healthy than snack bars, the health and wellness biscuits market sector is more than 50% larger than the health and wellness snack bars category. This suggests that when British people do choose to indulge themselves, many are still health-conscious. Reduced fat biscuits comprised nearly half of the health and wellness biscuits category in 2015, and fortified and functional biscuits were grew faster than any other HW biscuits subsector between 2011 and 2015.

Healthy snacks in the United Kingdom (UK) include nuts, dried fruit, crisps (chips), sweet snacks and more. The vast majority of nuts and dried fruit can be categorized as health and wellness, since they are by definition either naturally healthy or organic (Euromonitor International, 2014). Reduced fat snacks predominate among other sweet and savoury snacks, forming 98% of the subsector. Reduced salt snacks make up the rest of the subsector, and are forecasted to decline.

From 2010 to 2015, health and wellness snacks, biscuits and snack bars all grew at impressive rates, especially when compared to the overall packaged food sector. Further growth for all three sectors is expected through 2020, but it is expected to slow down.

Snacks, biscuits and snack bars in the UK often contain Canadian ingredients or ingredients that Canadian producers could easily supply, such as pulses and maple syrup. Several of these products have been highlighted.

It is worth noting that Canadian companies enjoy privileged access to European Union markets such as the UK. For example, organic certification from Canada is recognized in the UK due to an equivalency agreement signed in 2011 and expanded in 2016. Additionally, the pending ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will eliminate or reduce most of the remaining tariffs placed on Canadian goods entering the European Union (EU) market. However, given that the United Kingdom elected to leave the European Union on June 23rd, 2016, the future of CETA and its relevance to the UK remains uncertain. Nonetheless, the government of the United Kingdom has expressed its support for CETA even in the wake of Brexit (Canadian Press, 2016).

Growth perspectives

Health and wellness snacks comprise two sectors as defined by Euromonitor International (2016): sweet and savoury snacks, and biscuits and snack bars. In 2016 these were, respectively, the fourth and sixth largest health and wellness packaged food sectors as measured by retail sales. Both of these sectors, as well as all of their associated subsectors, grew at a faster rate than packaged food overall.

Through 2020, the growth in snacks, biscuits and snack bars is expected to slow down. Growth in HW snack bars, for example is forecasted to be 2.36%, measured by compound annual growth rate (CAGR), from 2016 to 2020, compared to 2.54% for packaged food in general. Fruit snacks are forecasted to grow at 4.15% CAGR, showing the greatest growth of any subcategory.

Historical health and wellness packaged food retail sales, $US Millions
Category 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2010-2015 %CAGR
HW Packaged Food (Total) 16,830.9 17,302.9 17,996.3 18,565.7 18,835.1 19,135.8 2.60%
HW Sweet and Savoury Snacks 1,102.6 1,139.1 1,230.4 1,327.4 1,337.3 1,380.1 4.59%
HW Fruit Snacks (HW Sweet and Savoury Snacks) 316.1 327.2 339.7 359.1 377.3 389.5 4.26%
HW Nuts (HW Sweet and Savoury Snacks) 533.3 561.6 591.6 624.6 667.3 696.5 5.48%
HW Sweet and Savoury Snacks Excluding Nuts and Fruit Snacks (HW Sweet and Savoury Snacks) 253.2 250.3 299.0 343.7 292.6 294.1 3.04%
HW Biscuits and Snack Bars 719.2 780.3 870.6 951.7 1,012.0 1,057.6 8.02%
HW Biscuits (HW Biscuits and Snack Bars) 429.3 464.0 520.8 584.3 621.8 651.5 8.70%
HW Snack Bars (HW Biscuits and Snack Bars) 289.9 316.3 349.8 367.4 390.3 406.0 6.97%
Source: Euromonitor International, 2016
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
Health and Wellness (HW)
Forecast health and wellness packaged food retail sales, $US Millions
Category 2016E 2017F 2018F 2019F 2020F 2016-2020 %CAGR
HW Packaged Food (Total) 19,612.7 20,113.2 20,636.7 21,164.7 21,685.1 2.54%
HW Sweet and Savoury Snacks 1,442.8 1,502.7 1,562.4 1,619.7 1,678.0 3.85%
HW Fruit Snacks (HW Sweet and Savoury Snacks) 405.9 423.2 441.1 459.4 477.5 4.15%
HW Nuts (HW Sweet and Savoury Snacks) 734.6 767.2 797.6 823.7 847.9 3.65%
HW Sweet and Savoury Snacks Excluding Nuts and Fruit Snacks (HW Sweet and Savoury Snacks) 302.3 312.3 323.7 336.6 352.7 3.93%
HW Biscuits and Snack Bars 1,101.0 1,140.2 1,176.8 1,208.0 1,237.2 2.96%
HW Biscuits (HW Biscuits and Snack Bars) 686.1 716.6 744.6 766.7 781.7 3.31%
HW Snack Bars (HW Biscuits and Snack Bars) 414.9 423.6 432.2 441.3 455.5 2.36%
Source: Euromonitor International, 2016
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
Health and Wellness (HW)
Estimate (E)
Forecast (F)

Subsector analysis

Health and wellness snack bars

Health and Wellness snack bars are growing overall, but subsector analysis shows that different subsectors of the HW snack bars are experiencing radically different perspectives. Fortified and functional (FF) energy and nutrition bars and naturally healthy (NH) fruit bars have grown massively from small bases. Meanwhile, naturally healthy granola bars have risen at a steady 5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to become the largest HW snack bars subsector. Fortified and functional breakfast bars, the largest subsector in 2010, grew for two years but have since fallen significantly, such that their CAGR over the reporting period was −1.58%. They have thus fallen to second rank.

Historical health and wellness snack bars retail sales, $US Millions
Category 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2010-2015 %CAGR
HW Snack Bars (total) 289.9 316.3 349.8 367.4 390.3 406.0 6.97%
FF Breakfast Bars 120.1 121.6 124.0 119.0 114.7 110.9 −1.58%
FF Energy and Nutrition Bars 18.6 22.5 28.1 35.2 43.5 50.2 21.97%
NH Fruit Bars 26.1 28.6 36.5 50.4 71.1 86.8 27.17%
Organic Fruit Bars 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.00%
NH Granola Bars 116.1 135.3 152.9 154.1 151.5 148.3 5.02%
Organic Granola Bars 6.6 6.2 6.1 6.6 7.2 7.6 2.86%
Organic Other Snack Bars 1.6 1.5 1.4 1.5 1.5 1.5 −1.28%
Source: Euromonitor International, 2016
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
Health and Wellness (HW)
Fortified and functional (FF)
Naturally Healthy (NH)
Forecast health and wellness snack bars retail sales, $US Millions
Category 2016E 2017F 2018F 2019F 2020F 2016-2020 %CAGR
HW Snack Bars (total) 414.9 423.6 432.2 441.3 455.5 2.36%
FF Breakfast Bars 108.9 107.5 106.4 105.6 105.1 −0.88%
FF Energy and Nutrition Bars 57.9 64.5 70.7 77.9 85.8 10.33%
NH Fruit Bars 91.3 94.8 96.6 97.0 97.6 1.68%
Organic Fruit Bars 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.9 0.9 2.99%
NH Granola Bars 146.7 146.4 147.7 149.7 155.5 1.47%
Organic Granola Bars 7.8 8.0 8.2 8.5 8.7 2.77%
Organic Other Snack Bars 1.6 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 4.39%
Source: Euromonitor International, 2016
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
Health and Wellness (HW)
Estimate (E)
Forecast (F)
Health and Wellness (HW)
Fortified and functional (FF)
Naturally Healthy (NH)

Over the forecast period, 2016 to 2020, fortified and functional energy and nutrition bars are expected to maintain their momentum, with 10.33% CAGR through 2020. Naturally healthy fruit bars, on the other hand, will continue to grow, but at a slower rate, growing at 1.68% CAGR. Organic granola bars, fruit bars and other snack bars will continue to grow, but since their bases are small and their growth rates are projected to be low, these markets will continue to be small parts of the overall sector.

Historical health and wellness snack bars brand shares
Brand Company name (GBO) 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Nature Valley General Mills Inc. 10.5% 12.3% 14.6% 15.6% 15.9% 16.1%
Kellogg's Special K Kellogg Co 22.3% 16.2% 16.6% 13.8% 11.9% 10.9%
Bear Urban Fresh Foods Ltd. 1.6% 2.4% 3.8% 5.7% 8.6% 10.6%
Private label Private Label 4.0% 3.8% 3.5% 2.9% 2.4% 2.1%
Others Others 61.5% 65.0% 61.7% 62.1% 61.2% 60.4%
Source: Euromonitor International, 2016

General Mills' Nature Valley has grown to be the single largest snack bar brand in the United Kingdom, largely due to the fact that Kellogg's Special K has lost more than half of its standing. Private label brands have decreased in importance, and now occupy only 2.1% of the Health and Wellness snack bars market.

Health and wellness biscuits

The growth of health and wellness biscuits outpaced that of HW snack bars over the reporting period. This was driven by growth in all subsectors, but particularly in the fortified and functional biscuits subsector, which nearly quadrupled in size between 2010 and 2015. Growth in gluten-free biscuits was also high, at 12.91% CAGR.

Historical health and wellness biscuits retail sales, $US millions
Category 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2010-2015 %CAGR
HW Biscuits (total) 429.3 464.0 520.8 584.3 621.8 651.5 8.70%
FF Biscuits 45.3 55.3 89.2 130.5 146.4 160.5 28.79%
Gluten-Free Biscuits 26.1 30.0 35.1 40.1 45.9 47.9 12.91%
NH High Fibre Biscuits 62.6 67.6 71.4 75.7 80.2 86.2 6.61%
Organic Biscuits 26.9 27.1 26.9 27.3 27.7 28.1 0.88%
Reduced Fat Biscuits 262.1 277.3 291.2 303.5 313.9 320.8 4.12%
Reduced Sugar Biscuits 6.5 6.7 7.0 7.4 7.7 8.0 4.24%
Source: Euromonitor International, 2016
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
Health and Wellness (HW)
Fortified and functional (FF)
Naturally Healthy (NH)
Forecast health and wellness biscuits retail sales, $US millions
Category 2016E 2017F 2018F 2019F 2020F 2016-2020 %CAGR
HW Biscuits (total) 686.1 716.6 744.6 766.7 781.7 3.31%
FF Biscuits 173.7 184.3 192.5 196.1 197.8 3.30%
Gluten-Free Biscuits 53.0 57.1 60.9 64.4 66.7 5.92%
NH High Fibre Biscuits 94.7 102.7 110.6 117.5 124.2 7.01%
Organic Biscuits 28.6 29.3 30.1 31.1 32.1 2.93%
Reduced Fat Biscuits 327.6 334.3 341.1 347.7 350.3 1.69%
Reduced Sugar Biscuits 173.7 184.3 192.5 196.1 197.8 3.30%
Source: Euromonitor International, 2016
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
Estimate (E)
Forecast (F)
Health and Wellness (HW)
Fortified and functional (FF)
Naturally Healthy (NH)

Over the forecast period, further growth is predicted, but at a lower rate. Fortified and functional biscuits will grow in line with the overall sector, and organic biscuits will experience more growth than they did between 2010 and 2015.

Historical Health and Wellness Biscuits Brand Shares
Brand Company name (GBO) 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Belvita Mondelez International Inc.* 2.3% 10.0% 14.3% 16.9% 17.9% 18.1%
McVitie's Yildiz Holding AS* 11.1% 11.4% 10.7% 12.1% 12.7% 12.9%
Weetabix Bright Food (Group) Co. Ltd.* no data no data no data 2.0% 2.0% 2.2%
Private label Private Label 20.7% 21.9% 21.7% 21.4% 22.0% 22.8%
Others Others 66.0% 56.7% 53.2% 47.5% 45.4% 44.2%
Source: Euromonitor International, 2016
*Mondelez International was spun off from Kraft Foods in 2012. McVitie's was produced by United Biscuits Holdings Plc until 2014. Weetabix Ltd. was acquired by Bright Food in 2012. Shares prior to company changes are in italics.

The Health and Wellness Biscuits subsector has seen a number of mergers, acquisitions and spin-offs over the years. During that time, Belvita brand snack bars have grown from 2.3% of the market under Kraft to 18.1% under Mondelez. McVitie's has grown slightly in market share, and is now the second largest brand in the United Kingdom. No other brands come close in terms of market share, and the rest of the market is thus divided amongst several smaller players. Private labels occupy more than one fifth of the market, and their market share has grown since 2010.

Health and wellness sweet and savoury snacks

When analyzing sweet and savoury (SS) snacks, it is important to draw a distinction between fruits and nuts and other snacks. Nearly all fruits and nuts can be categorized as naturally healthy, and most of the rest are organic (Euromonitor International, 2014). As such, the tables below show growth and forecasts for nuts, fruit snacks, and other snacks.

Naturally Healthy nuts made up 98.1% of the Health and Wellness nuts sector in 2015, and Naturally Healthy fruit snacks made up 98.2% of their sector in the same year. Organic nuts and fruit snacks are both expected to increase over the forecast period, and in the case of Organic nuts, subsector growth is expected to be faster than growth in the overall Health and Wellness sector.

Historical health and wellness sweet and savoury snacks retail sales, $US millions
Category 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2010-2015 %CAGR
HW Nuts (total) 533.3 561.6 591.6 624.6 667.3 696.5 5.48%
NH Nuts 521.6 549.8 579.6 612.2 654.5 683.1 5.54%
Organic Nuts 11.7 11.8 12.0 12.4 12.9 13.4 2.75%
HW Fruit Snacks (total) 316.1 327.2 339.7 359.1 377.3 389.5 4.26%
NH Fruit Snacks 309.3 320.8 333.3 352.5 370.4 382.4 4.33%
Organic Fruit Snacks 6.7 6.4 6.4 6.6 6.9 7.1 1.17%
HW SS Snacks by Type, Excl. Nuts and Fruit Snacks (total) 253.2 250.3 299.0 343.7 292.6 294.1 3.04%
Reduced Fat SS Snacks 249.0 244.7 293.7 338.6 287.8 289.4 3.05%
Reduced Salt SS Snacks 4.2 5.6 5.3 5.0 4.9 4.6 1.84%
Source: Euromonitor International, 2016
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
Health and Wellness (HW)
Fortified and functional (FF)
Naturally Healthy (NH)
Sweet and Savoury (SS)
Forecast health and wellness sweet and savoury snacks retail sales, $US millions
Category 2016E 2017F 2018F 2019F 2020F 2016-2020 %CAGR
HW Nuts (total) 734.6 767.2 797.6 823.7 847.9 3.65%
NH Nuts 720.2 751.9 781.5 806.9 830.5 3.63%
Organic Nuts 14.4 15.3 16.1 16.8 17.3 4.69%
HW Fruit Snacks (total) 405.9 423.2 441.1 459.4 477.5 4.15%
NH Fruit Snacks 398.6 415.5 433.2 451.3 469.1 4.16%
Organic Fruit Snacks 7.4 7.7 7.9 8.1 8.3 2.91%
HW SS Snacks by Type, Excl. Nuts and Fruit Snacks (total) 302.3 312.3 323.7 336.6 352.7 3.93%
Reduced Fat SS Snacks 297.8 307.9 319.4 332.3 348.6 4.02%
Reduced Salt SS Snacks 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.3 4.1 −2.30%
Source: Euromonitor International, 2016
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
Estimate (E)
Forecast (F)
Health and Wellness (HW)
Fortified and functional (FF)
Naturally Healthy (NH)
Sweet and Savoury (SS)

Sweet and savoury snacks, excluding fruit snacks and nuts, are mostly reduced fat. In 2015, 98.4% of other sweet and savoury snacks fit into this category. The remainder were reduced salt. Reduced salt snacks have been declining since 2012, and further decline is forecasted through 2020.

Historical health and wellness sweet and savoury snacks brand shares
Brand Company name (GBO) 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Lay's PepsiCo Inc. 9.2% 8.6% 11.2% 11.8% 11.1% 10.5%
Whitworths Whitworth Bros Ltd. 10.3% 10.3% 10.2% 10.1% 10.0% 9.7%
KP Intersnack Knabber-Gebäck GmbH & Co. KG* 6.6% 6.4% 6.4% 6.5% 6.7% 6.7%
Private label Private Label 45.2% 48.3% 47.4% 46.2% 49.7% 50.5%
Others Others 28.6% 26.4% 24.9% 25.6% 22.5% 22.6%
Source: Euromonitor International, 2016
*KP was produced by United Biscuits Holdings Plc until 2013. Shares prior to company changes are in italics.

Private labels made up more than half of the health and wellness sweet and savoury snacks category in 2015. Otherwise, the market is highly segmented, with the top brand being PepsiCo Inc.'s Lay's brand of chips.

New product analysis

New product analysis was carried out by searching through Mintel's Global New Products Database for snack products released between 2011 and 2015 bearing claims that could be classified as “Functional, Gluten-Free, Low/No/Reduced Lactose, Low/No/Reduced Allergen, Natural, Minus or Plus”.

Between 2011 and 2015, Mintel noted a total of 2,731 new product bearing our search criteria launches, 29.3% (800) of which occurred in 2015. So far through nine months of 2016, Mintel has identified 576 new products which bear our criteria. As such, 2016 is likely to see about as many new products as 2015. Some of these are highlighted in the next section.

New product launches by year, % of total (2011-2015)
Year Launches (%)
2011 15.5%
2012 18.6%
2013 17.7%
2014 18.8%
2015 29.3%
Source: Mintel, 2016

The most common claim was “Vegetarian”. Among search terms, the most common term was “no additives/preservatives”, which was featured on 1,660 of the products.

New products launched, 2011-2015 (top 15 claims)
Feature Launch Count
Total New Health and Wellness Snack Products 2,731
Vegetarian 1,708
No Additives/Preservatives 1,660
Low/No/Reduced Allergen 797
Gluten-Free 709
Social Media 463
Ethical - Environmentally Friendly Package 418
High/Added Fiber 411
Vegan 404
No Animal Ingredients 402
Low/No/Reduced Transfat 378
Low/No/Reduced Fat 338
Low/No/Reduced Sugar 306
All Natural Product 276
Slimming 259
Kosher 250
Other 102
Source: Mintel, 2016
New products launched, 2011-2015 (storage)
Storage Launch Count
Shelf stable 2,470
Chilled 189
Frozen 72
Source: Mintel, 2016
New products launched, 2011-2015 (Top five launch types)
Top five launch types Launch Count
New Product 1,040
New Variety/Range Extension 921
New Packaging 553
Relaunch 137
New Formulation 80
Source: Mintel, 2016
New products launched, 2011-2015 (price range in US dollars*)
Price range in US dollars* Launch Count
0-$1.99 868
$2-$3.99 1,071
$4-$5.99 162
$6-$7.99 53
$8 and more 26
Source: Mintel, 2016
*Records for which data is available

Most new Health and Wellness snacks in the United Kingdom were sold for between 0 and 4 dollars US. Shelf stable goods predominated amongst snacks, which is unsurprising given that their purpose is to be easily stored, transported and consumed. New products and range extensions make up a majority of new launches, suggesting a high degree of innovation.

New product examples, 2016

Source: Mintel, 2016

Conclusion

Health and Wellness snacks, biscuits and snack bars help Britons to satisfy their cravings while minimizing their fat, salt and artificial additives intake or while obtaining nutrition and nutrients on the go. The UK markets for each of these subsectors are the largest in the European Union. The Health and Wellness snack market in the United Kingdom is categorized by a high degree of product innovation. Many new British products feature Canadian specialty crops, such as pulses and maple syrup.

While political and economic uncertainty surround recent votes in the United Kingdom, Canada nonetheless enjoys privileged access to British markets. The upcoming CETA agreement is set to further reduce tariffs with all EU countries, including the UK. The government of the UK remains committed to CETA.

For more information

International Trade Commissioners can provide Canadian industry with on-the-ground expertise regarding market potential, current conditions and local business contacts, and are an excellent point of contact for export advice.

For additional intelligence on this and other markets, the complete library of Global Analysis reports can be found under Statistics and Market Information at the following link, arranged by sector and region of interest:

For additional information on Salon International de l'Agroalimentaire (SIAL) 2016, please contact:

Resources

Health and Wellness Series - Healthy Biscuits, Snacks and Snack Bar Trends in the United Kingdom
Global Analysis Report
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