The biscuit market is incredibly diverse, encompassing plain biscuits, sandwich cookies, sweet-filled biscuits, savory crackers, and specialty varieties. This diversity makes biscuits a significant player in the confectionery treat market and a favorite snack choice for consumers worldwide.

According to Statista, the global cookies and crackers market is valued at $140.40 billion in 2024, with China contributing the most revenue at $22,510 million. Asia, particularly Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines, leads in biscuit innovations, while the US and the UK are also major contributors to the biscuit business. The market shows robust growth, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) estimated at 6.39% from 2024 to 2028.

“Volume sales of sweet biscuits proved resilient in 2023. Seasonal biscuits, single-serve packs, and biscuits that hero healthy ingredients offer scope to grow sales,” said Richard Caines, principal analyst at Mintel.

Key trends driving consumer demand and inspiring new product launches include standout ingredients, health consciousness, environmental protection, and the globalization of local specialties. Valia Christidou, founder of The Food Launchpad, notes that “health and the environment take center stage. Simple ingredients, sugar reduction, and the use of no palm oil are growing.”

One major trend is the shift towards plant-based products. While plant-based has become mainstream, brands are now exploring alternative proteins, such as cultivated proteins, biomass or precision fermentation, molecular farming, and protein grown in plants. Christidou mentions that the focus is on pulses and legumes due to their nutritional benefits and environmental friendliness. As awareness of gut health grows, traditional fermented foods like kimchi and kefir are also gaining popularity.

Mintel’s 2024 insights highlight that plant-based and vegan claims are increasing in Europe and Latin America, with better-for-you qualities also proving popular in Latin America. Brands emphasize clean label claims, natural or organic certifications, fair trade messages, and non-GMO content. Sustainable practices are becoming more prevalent, with regenerative agriculture claims seeing a 383% year-on-year growth between 2022 and 2023, and carbon-related claims on bakery products increasing by 48%.

Christidou notes that regenerative agriculture is gaining traction, with some companies, like Wilfarmed in the UK, producing regenerative wheat flour. She also mentions that declaring a food’s environmental footprint on the packaging is under discussion, with some trials already conducted. Recent EU legislation will tighten the requirements to prove that ingredients have not contributed to deforestation.

Flavor innovation is another key trend. Consumers are seeking more indulgent flavors, with seasonal or limited edition biscuits driving additional purchases. Findings suggest that limited edition varieties enhance consumer engagement by creating a sense of urgency and encouraging impulse buys. Biscuits will continue to borrow textures, shapes, and formats from other dessert and bakery categories, delivering novelty and indulgence.

Christidou highlights that snacks in the chiller can offer new textures and flavors, sometimes with fewer additives. This trend is attracting non-traditional food players into the biscuit market. According to Innova Market Insights’ 2024 annual trends forecast, spotlighting key ingredients is a major bakery trend, with biscuit brands leveraging consumers’ positive perceptions of specific ingredients.

Manufacturers are also focusing on health formulations by providing options with reduced sugar, whole grains, natural ingredients, and added nutritional value. In 2024, FoodDrinkEurope has helped develop reformulation guidelines for SMEs to create healthier and more nutritious products.

In summary, the biscuit market is thriving, driven by innovation and a commitment to sustainability. The combination of health and environmental consciousness, along with a willingness to explore new flavors and formats, ensures that biscuits remain a beloved snack worldwide. As we move further into 2024, the industry is poised for continued expansion, with a promising and delicious future ahead. The key to success will be staying ahead of these trends and continually adapting to meet the evolving demands of consumers.

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