A new report from IBISWorld finds the cookie, cracker and pasta production industry has blossomed. The increased demand for cookies and crackers, in particular, over the past five years came as household disposable incomes increased, offsetting declines in pasta consumption. Furthermore, the report finds, even increases in wheat and sugar prices had little effect on the segment’s sales growth, as many large and established industry producers managed to pass these cost increases on to consumers in the form of higher product prices.
Such was not the case, however, for smaller companies.
“Many small- to medium-sized companies, however, were unable to pass on cost increases to consumers, without severely damaging demand, and either merged with larger companies or exited the industry,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Jeffrey Cohen.
As a result, the number of companies in the respective marketplaces (for cookies, crackers and pasta) decreased to 671 in 2013. Industry revenues, meanwhile, rose a relatively meager 0.6% between 2012-2013 to total $23.5 billion, finds IBISWorld.
The past five years also saw an increased media awareness of the link between high-sugar foods and diabetes, and other preventable diseases. Producers, therefore, have changed tactics to a degree and are offering more healthy options, in the form of whole-grain crackers and reduced-calorie snack packs for cookies and crackers. That, in turn, managed to benefit manufacturers.
“Companies successfully charged a premium for these products, because consumers perceived them to be of higher quality than generic-brand products,” adds Cohen. “The success of these healthier options raised demand for cookie, cracker and pasta production industry products, expanding profit in 2013.”
The industry’s future prospects look bright, IBISWorld predicts, with faster revenue growth anticipated through the five years to 2018, compared with the previous five years. Forecast increases in household disposable income will drive demand for cookies and crackers. As the number of health-conscious consumers increases, producers will introduce a greater variety of healthier product options.
Throughout Europe, Carmit Candy Industries Ltd. plans to launch a bar featuring satiety-inducing ingredients. While technically a candy bar, the chocolate wafer bar definitely falls in the arena of weight management products, courtesy of two ingredients incorporated to promote satiety: the soluble fiber glucomannan and a potato-derived proteinase inhibitor.
The European Food Safety Association allows a weight management claim for konjac mannan (glucomannan) for a daily intake of 3g of glucomannan, in 1g doses, along with 1-2 glasses of water; each Carmit bar features 1g of glucomannan and, in addition, is free of gluten and genetically modified organisms. Europe Snacks plans to spend $22.1 million to increase production capacity, roughly a third of that total for a second production line for crackers in France.
In the UK, the demand for bite-sized treats has prompted United Biscuits to add miniature versions of a pair of its McVitie’s cake brands: McVitie’s Jaffa Cake Mini Muffins and Galaxy Mini Muffins. Each is available in two-pack versions designed for easy consumption on-the-go.
Mondelez International plans its biggest UK cracker launch since the introduction of Belvita. Barny sponge snacks will be found in two varieties: Chocolate and Milk.
In India, Creambell Ice Cream is introducing a frozen treat with cookies. Rounders are basically ice cream sandwiches with a combination of Danish ice cream between chocolate cookies. The company notes the combination has never been seen in the Indian marketplace.
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