Expansion of U.S. cookie and cracker sector due to healthy biscuits
A decline in the consumption of high-calorie food items will promote structural shifts on the U.S. cookie and cracker market
The U.S. cookie and cracker market (biscuits, cookies, crackers, waffles and cake) is gaining momentum. If, from 2008-2013, its volume decreased by 4.8% in value terms (to $11.4 billion), then from 2014-2015, it expanded in total by 11.3% (reaching $12.9 billion). Heightened demand for low-calorie, healthy cookie and cracker, increasingly popular with consumers due to the concept of a healthy lifestyle becoming more practised and widespread, was the main impetus driving this market growth over the 2014-2015 period.
In 2015, the U.S. manufacturers' share accounted for 88% of cookie and cracker products consumption in the USA. The low imports share is a direct result of the minimal profit to be earned from transporting cookie, cracker and waffle products over long distances by air and marine modes of transport; the products' fragility and traditional consumer taste preferences are also factors. For these reasons, the USA's geographical neighbours dominate the imports structure: Canada accounted for 47% of cookie and cracker imports ($707 million out of $1.5 billion) in 2015, and Mexico assumed a 20% imports share ($298 million). Last year, the structure of imports from Canada was dominated by sweet biscuit items (2% of U.S. cookie and cracker product consumption) and waffles (2% of consumption), and the structure of imports from Mexico was also dominated by sweet biscuit items (2% of consumption).
Cookie and cracker manufacture in the USA has observed the various consumption trends: from 2008-2013, production declined by 6.9%, but then increased in total by 13.5% from 2014-2015. Last year, 19% of the U.S. cookie and cracker product output, in value terms, was assumed by the production of bread and baked goods ($11.7 billion out of $63.3 billion). Along with increased consumption, output growth was also promoted by raw materials, such as sugar and wheat, being more cost-effective. This enabled U.S. manufacturers to earn higher profit margins, while still maintaining reasonable consumer prices.
IndexBox experts maintain that the U.S. cookie and cracker market is set to expand at an average annual rate of 1.7% from 2015-2020. As a result of a healthy lifestyle becoming increasingly popular and more widespread, and weakened demand for high-calorie products, the consumption of sweet biscuit and cracker items will slow. These very same factors will promote growth in the healthy cookie and cracker segment, which will develop and expand, mainly due to the entry of new, smaller players onto the market: these new manufacturers will not need to restructure their entire production cycle to promote their new product ranges.