Health on the brain

Shoppers seeking out quality biscuits and cakes but without waistband punishing calorie count

Many shoppers are now after an indulgent treat with a lower calorie count

JUST about every retail analyst around will flag health as a key consideration for shoppers, but is this a trend biscuit and cake producers can tap into?

Yes would seem to be the answer, with firms across the board producing NPD to meet the evolving demands of convenience customers.

A spokesman from shortbread producer Walkers said that overall, the market is continuing to experience growing demand for NPD, adding that consumers are “more in-tune than ever before” when it comes to sugar and fat.

To meet this demand, Walkers launched its new Thins range this year.

Available in five flavours, Walkers Thins offer a lighter option for shoppers looking to enjoy shortbread with a bit more moderation.

Walkers has also been dabbling in free from, with the firm creating NPD to meet a variety of dietary choices as the spokesman explained.

“To address evolving consumer health-specific concerns, Walkers Shortbread has continued to innovate its product line which includes gluten free offerings.

“Demonstrating its continued commitment to producing the world’s finest shortbread for a continually expanding and evolving consumer demographic, Walkers Shortbread offers a three strong gluten free product range – catering to the one in 100 people in the UK living with coeliac disease today.”

Gluten free has also been a focus for Lees of Scotland. The confectionery producer has been shouting about its  Macaringues, which are free from gluten, nuts and are suitable for vegetarians, which sales director Bert Croll reckons makes them a popular choice for those with food allergies and intolerances.

“Our Macaringues can be filled at home which lets our customers create their own tasty treat. Our Snowball range is also gluten free and available in multi-packs and sharing packs to suit the whole family.

“Over the last few years we’ve seen a rise in awareness of food allergies and intolerances which has led to a bigger demand in free-from products across every category, especially in the likes of biscuits and cakes which often contain gluten.

“Food allergies and intolerances affect a large number of people across the UK, so retailers should consider catering for this demand,” he said.

According to sales figures quoted by Croll, increased demand has led to growth for the free-from friendly Lees lines, and the firm hasn’t been shy about highlighting the low calorie nature of its Macaringues.

“Throughout 2018 we’ve seen continued demand for light but tasty treats. Due to this, we noticed further sales growth in our Macaringues.

“Lees Macaringues are fat free and contain only nine calories per shell, as well as those who follow calorie-controlled diet, we’ve also noticed that our Macaringues have become popular amongst those following the likes of Slimming World,” he said.