By FMT Correspondent
Food Marketing & Technology Magazine attended a recent webinar hosted by the Mintel’s on “Consumer trends shaping India’s biscuits and cookies category”. The webinar talked about the changes in the Bakery Industry post -pandemic. Food & Drink Analyst Rushikesh Aravkar assessed the current changes in the consumer demand graph and also how it is going to open new opportunities in the food industry.
An 86% hike is analyzed in the consumption of biscuits and cookies consumed at least once a week. During the lockdown, the consumption rate has been on an all-time hike without any dip in the curve. This has proven to be a relief for the bakery industry. Post-pandemic demand for bakery products consumed did not diminish as manufacturers continued to witness a significant rise in demand.
The study conducted by Mintel’s suggest that over four in ten people consume seven or more varieties of biscuits or cookies products. This includes choices preferred by the younger generation who tend to consume varieties. The potential exists only when manufacturers in the industry track down the economic effect caused by external changes.
Marie biscuit, one of the largest producers of biscuits, is consumed by a large number of the Indian population. During the COVID-19 situation, many people have switched to making a healthy choice, even in biscuits. Healthy biscuits are said to have over 50% market penetration. Consumers in metropolitan cities are more inclined to choose healthy alternatives. It is often assumed that healthy is not tasty. Hence, the idea of healthy can be tasty can help break unseen barriers in the bakery industry. People are now more inclined towards choosing healthy biscuits alternatives over ordinary ones, yet a healthy and tasty alternative, as a combo, is preferred over any other option, if found with multiple-choice options.
Biscuits with all-in-one ingredients are said to have more benefits and demand in the eyes of the buyers. Therefore, it is suggested that manufacturers must aim at producing biscuits with all-in-one ingredients to be listed under the healthy indulgent category.
If consumer demand is broken in the analytical term, then a cookie or biscuit has over 40% healthy ingredient, 39% health benefits, and 31% whole grains. Yet less than 7% of manufacturers launch a product with any whole grain flavor or ingredient in it. Such as Iron Shakti, a rich source of bajra, and fox millet, a rich source of calcium are some brands that emphasize the health benefits of their product.
In this growing world, where external environment is not quite apt for health, people are increasingly moving towards the intake of healthy alternatives to keep themselves fit from inside. However, too much of anything is not good for your health.
Weight management biscuits or cookies can lead people to pursue bad and harsh diets that can increase hidden hunger in the body. According to Mintel’s, less than 20% population carries weight management biscuits, which is still high but can be curbed. Hence, the biscuit manufacturers must be careful in the fortification of ingredients in biscuits and keep them at the right levels. As metabolic rate increases so do the calorie burn, the deployment of high proteins, fibre, and other nutrition in biscuits can help in healthy weight management.
The equilibrium between Satiety and wealthy management system can be established with the help of biscuits that have a good amount of dietary fibre. Britannia Nutri Choice has high fibre content that helps kick-start the day without filling empty for long hours. Preferred as an added supplement for breakfast by over 60% of people in India because of its potential prospect for boosting immunity.
Indulgent biscuits are another category of biscuits famous among the younger generation. They have a high rate of inclination by the consumer.
Over 72% of the young generation between the age of 18-34 are involved in indulgent biscuits. Indulgent biscuits are hovering a wave that can create huge growth in India. Cream biscuits have limited consumption choices. Yet, 45% of chocolate-flavoured cream biscuits are consumed by the younger generation. Further, caramel is often used by the consumer to bake flavored cookies at home.
Biscuits are consumed by over 26% to relieve stress and offer good sleep. It is recorded that consumers before bedtime usually prefer tulsi, cumin seed, and other freshly baked flavoured cookies over any other flavored bakery product.
Freshly baked cookies or biscuits are preferred to be consumed during waking hours over stale or indulgent biscuits. The bakery industry has soared well during the lockdown period caused because of the global pandemic. As per the consumer preference curve, a boom can be seen in the indulgent biscuits category. This can be taken as a niche by the upcoming entrepreneur who aspires to hold a bakery business because of its perpetrating demand for indulgent biscuits among the younger generation.
Also, tackling the perception of healthy can be tasty is important so that consumer preference can be driven to healthy, yet tasty biscuits or cookies. The myth that is often carried out of healthy can not be tasty must be overpowered by brands introducing healthy and tasty as a combo. Biscuits infused with zinc, calcium, magnesium, whole grains can act as a game-changer for the industry.