While domestic brands reign over the country in the cookies business, the US is also a major importer of these products. Almost a quarter of Americans consumed imported cookies between 2013 and 2017, the research company Technavio told World Bakers Digital.
The import of cookies in the country increased by around 24.72% from 2013 to 2017. For instance, in 2017, the country imported cookies primarily from Mexico, Canada, and Germany, where the value of imports from these top partners was USD527m, USD324m, and USD72m, respectively.
What Drives the Market
Taste is the primary factor driving consumer preference in the biscuits and cookies business in the US, the analysts with Technavio explain. Consumers are continually looking for products that will let them experience new and exciting flavors. The young population in the US, in particular, is known to lean towards decadent and unique options. Biscuit and cookie manufacturers are quick to respond to this trend and are increasingly becoming adventurous in the texture, flavor, and even the temperature of products they are introducing to US consumers. Even as consumers clamor for new experiences, some of the cookies and biscuits that have remained perennial favorites are dark chocolate, double and triple chocolate, stuffed cookies, and biscuits with cream fillings and frostings. Concurrently, consumers in the US are also opting for products and brands that are low-priced, thus creating opportunities for private label offerings to be a part of this business.
Sugar Remains the Foe
Existing biscuit and cookie companies are facing competition from fresh-baked gourmet or handmade products available in specialty and in-store bakeries, which, in turn, is enabling small manufacturers with artisan products to enter the market. Priced higher than the brands easily available in retail outlets, these products are increasingly being preferred by the consumers keen on experiencing unique flavors and textures.
At the same time, sugar control and portion control are factors playing a role in consumer purchasing behavior. Vendors are responding to this trend by introducing portion-controlled or small packs and also flooding the market with savory variants to help consumers win the war against sugar.
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