There’s no two ways about it: cookies are a beloved household staple in America. With sales increasing by nearly 5 percent for two consecutive years, the cookie and cookie bar category now accounts for more than $7 billion in annual sales and is estimated to grow to a total of $8.3 billion by 2017, according to research firm Mintel International.
With four out of five survey respondents reporting eating cookies, consumers are primed to try new options, especially those with exotic flavor profiles—like burnt sugar and fennel or apricot sage—as well as those containing more chocolate, caramel and superfruits. And while healthy cookies were the fastest growing segment last year, successful cookies and cookie bars must still taste delicious first.
Sandwich cookies take the prize as favorite cookies, with nearly half of respondents choosing them today and in previous years. Soft chocolate chip cookies are also very popular, and have perhaps grown as more brands are suggesting that consumers heat these varieties at home for a bakery-fresh feel. Bite-size and fruit-filled cookies are two categories that have seen an increase in awareness since 2008, appealing to consumers who are taking a more health-conscious approach to buying cookies.
Close to 50 percent of respondents do not think much about health-related attributes when purchasing cookies. While this is not surprising given the general view that cookies are a dessert or indulgent snack, an opportunity exists for manufacturers to appeal to consumers in a new way by emphasizing healthful characteristics. Older respondents are more likely to buy products with claims such as lowfat, low sugar, trans fat–free, and low cholesterol, and all-natural and whole-grain cookies are more likely to appeal to young consumers
Chex Featured Cookie:
Tate’s Gluten-Free cookies are thin and crisp with pieces of thin, crystallized ginger. These cookies are made with rice flour and all natural ingredients…simply delicious!