Consumers are losing their taste for traditional biscuits – but don't the traditional makers need to move on?
I spent 10 years in the biscuit industry and we were always focused on moving innovation to address changing consumer needs. But this has two significant infrastructure issues. Firstly, more radical innovation means new production techniques that are capex intensive, taking time and money. And secondly, what to do with the older lines that are being used less and less. Do you hang on for lower margins or cut your losses?
In a sector that now competes with many other healthy snacks and diet crazes, the food industry is sometimes loath to abandon traditional lines and fully invest in the new as it may be the new is a passing fad. The key is a blended approach using third party manufacture, promoting and marketing correctly, and pricing correctly – a complex equation to balance.
So yes, the traditional biscuit makers need to move on, but it would be foolish to move away too quickly from such a giant industry for the next snacking fad.
UK biscuit makers seek ways to get their bite back. Industry acts to counter falling sales, higher costs and changing consumer tastes