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The German cookie market is the fastest-growing of the major European economies. Gender-specific targeting will distinguish between value-conscious German consumers more effectively, as cookie consumption motivators vary significantly by gender.

By Veronika Zhupanova, consumer analyst, GlobalData

To take advantage of this opportunity to grow sales, manufacturers should encourage consumers to trade-up by tapping into consumers’ most influential motivators.

While Germany’s cookie (sweet biscuits) market, valued at USD1.5bn, is one of the smallest of the major European economies in USD terms, it is also forecast to register the fastest growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.8% over 2016-2021 among its major European rivals. 

Overall, consumption of cookies is largely motivated by the desire for indulgence, which motivates 41% of eaten volumes, with the desire for novel, exciting experiences and value for money being the second- and third-most important market drivers, accounting for approximately 15% of consumption each.

While the market will increase, manufacturers will be more successful if they approach men and women differently, as motivators behind their consumption behaviors vary. Overall, women account for 52% of cookie consumption by volume, which mirrors their greater desire for treats and makes them the more important audience.

Women are driven by the desire to indulge

Of all the Bakery & Cereals categories, the need for a treat is the highest in cookies, emphasizing the importance of the trend in the category. While the need for treats is the primary driver behind cookie consumption by both genders, women’s cookie consumption is by far more influenced by the desire for a treat than men’s, at 46% and 35%, respectively. This reflects how German females are much more likely to trade-up for sweet biscuits than they associate with superior taste sensations. While some will check packaging for fillings, decadent tastes, and the finest ingredients, others will seek signs of craftsmanship, as they link those with superior quality and exclusivity. Consumers will check labels for keywords such as “natural” and “organic”, as these are also associated with smaller production scale and better quality.

German women also want comfort from cookies

At 14%, the need for cookies to accompany “me-time” is also stronger for women than men, for whom the need motivates only 9% of consumption. This presents an opportunity to target German women with sweet biscuits that explicitly target escapism moments. This can be done via indulgent recipes and smaller pack sizes, convenient for on-the-go consumption, as well as taglines that encourage consumers to stop and relax. Positioning products specifically to enhance “me-time” will prove successful among females, who look to take a short break from their daily chores while balancing both personal and professional lives.

Men are prepared to trade-up for novel and fun experiences

Of the 20 consumption motivators measured by GlobalData, the need for new experiences is ranked second for men, whereas it is third for women. Moreover, this need is more important than their need for value for money, which is ranked third. This shows how men in Germany consider new experiences worth trading-up for.

To target German men, manufacturers should explore new fun textures, such as “super crunchy”, as well as unusual flavors, such as those associated with fun events. Melted marshmallows, for example, are associated with campfires and nostalgia. Another example is the beer-infused Beer Kissed cookies launched in the US, which offer sweet cookies enriched with a mix of stout and pale ale. The product caters to those consumers who look for distinct flavors in cookies and are open to trying new combinations in food products. Such a product will attract the attention of 56% of men in Germany, who often or sometimes try new or different varieties of sweet biscuits/cookies, according to GlobalData’s 2016 Q3 consumer Survey.

You can read more in our print magazine European Baker & Biscuit (Jul/Aug 2017)! 

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