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The Cookie Market

Date: 05/01/09 | Source: Specialty Food Magazine | Author: DENISE PURCELL
Categories: Trends and Statistics; Market Trends
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The Cookie Market


research spotlight


A look at shifting consumer behavior,
interesting product introductions,
growing segments and potential target markets.






A recent study by Mintel International revealed valuable information about consumer choices within the $5.2 billion cookie and cookie bar market. While the overall market remains flat, ethnic flavors such as dulche de leche are one bright spot. Brands such as PepsiCo’s Gamesa, targeted at Hispanics, have helped offset sluggish overall sales, as has the continuing success of 100-calorie packs. The study also showed that adults from 18 – 44 enjoy trying new types, flavors and brands of cookies and are a key category to target. Read on to discover more helpful data and insights.





The Market
FDM sales of Cookies and Cookie Bars by Type of Cookie, 2006 and 2008
SOURCE: MINTEL BASED ON INFORMATION RESOURCES, INC. INFOSCAN® REVIEWS

Each segment in the cookie and cookie bar market experienced a decline except private label, which increased 2.3 percent. Standard cookies comprise more than half of the market. The healthy cookies segment is leveling off as consumers report they are more likely to eat fewer cookies than to buy healthy versions. Losses in the premium and healthy cookie segments are partially offset by a consumer shift to private-label offerings.
 

 Key Points

• Revenue through food, drug and mass merchants dropped 1.4 percent between 2006 and 2008.

• The healthy cookies segment—which experienced 25 percent growth between 2003 and 2005 due to the success of 100-calorie packs, low-sugar and organic cookies—has started to wane.

• Consumers are beginning to turn to more cost-effective and high-quality private-label cookies.

• The cookie bar segment dropped 15 percent between 2006 and 2008. This segment is not well understood in the marketplace.



The Consumer Types of Cookies Survey
Type of Cookies Eaten in Household, February 2007-­March 2008
Base: 18,601 adults aged 18+ whose household eats ready-to-eat cookies
SOURCE: MINTEL/SIMMONS NCS

Sandwich, soft chocolate chip and vanilla wafers are the most popular types of  cookies in the U.S. Vanilla wafers are most common in Black and Hispanic households; Asian households prefer crunchy chocolate chip cookies.
Key Points
• About three in four adults bought pre-packaged cookies in the past month, by far the most of any cookie form.

• Fifty-eight percent of respondents eat cookies less than once a week. Consumption is highest for over-65s.

• Adults aged 18 – 44 are very interested in trying new cookie types and flavors, but interest fades after age 45.
• Women are somewhat more likely than men to experiment with types, flavors and brands.

• Under-45s are significantly more likely than over-45s to buy fresh-baked cookies or pre-made dough.

• Half of adults aged 18 – 24 binge on sweets, snack a lot and buy the cookies they like the best rather than the healthiest choice. This makes this segment an ideal target market for cookies.


New Products
Health and Other Attributes of Interest to Cookie Buyers by Gender, August 2008
Base: 1,870 adults aged 18+ who eat cookies
SOURCE: MINTEL

Consumers don¹t count healthfulness as a major consideration when choosing cookies. Further research shows that even among older consumers, only a few attributes (low cholesterol and type of sweetener used) seem to carry any weight. Women are slightly more likely (19 percent) than men (13 percent) to consider the type of sweetener used. Women are also more interested in the 100-calorie and individually wrapped packaging options. The 100-calorie packs are also popular with 18 - 24 year olds.

Key Points
• Chocolate remains the top flavor in cookie launches. Unflavored/Plain, Not Specified, Vanilla, Dark Chocolate, Fudge, Peanut Butter, Lemon, Cinnamon and Butter round out the top ten flavors.

• According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), there have been 95 cookie products launched with new packaging from January 1 to October 6, 2008, compared to 80 products in all of 2007.

• Between 2003 and 2008, there were nearly 2,800 product variants introduced that made a claim. The claim made most often was kosher, followed by low/no/reduced trans fat and seasonal.
• Two claims saw drop-offs: low/no/reduced sugar and no additives/preservatives. The former is most likely the result of a drop in interest in the low-carb diet. The latter is possibly due to a shift to organic or all-natural claims.

Editor’s Note:

Specialty Food Magazine
is pleased to be working with Mintel on Research Spotlight. Mintel is a leading supplier of competitive media, product and consumer data. A 33-year reputation for delivering dependable and original market information has allowed Mintel to maintain Business Superbrand status in the U.K. Mintel’s product line includes: Mintel Reports, a renowned market intelligence report series, publishing more than 600 reports annually covering the U.S. and Europe; and Mintel’s GNPD, the Global New Products Database, which monitors worldwide product innovation in consumer packaged goods markets. For more information call 312.943.5250 or visit www.mintel.com. NASFT members may purchase Mintel’s cookies and cookie bars report at a 10 percent discount.
Denise Purcell is the editor of Specialty Food Magazine.


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