Sales of biscuits and crackers have leapt 22% over the past five years, reaching a value of £2.2bn in 2010.

It’s a barrel of laughs for biscuit industry

Sales of biscuits and crackers have leapt 22% over the past five years, reaching a value of £2.2bn in 2010.

It's a barrel of laughs for biscuit industry

So reveals the latest report from Mintel, which forecasts that sales will grow a further 15% to reach £2.6bn by 2015.

This year the sweet biscuit market alone is predicted to reach £1.9bn, having increased 20% between 2005 and 2010.

Mintel also found that while 86% of us enjoy indulging in a sweet biscuit this rises to 89% of 45 to 54-year-olds. However, they are less of a temptation to 16 to 24-year-olds, where consumption falls to 80%.

Amy Lloyd, senior food & drink analyst at Mintel said: “The UK biscuit industry has benefited from consumers reaching for the biscuit barrel throughout the recession, although rising commodity costs and an inability to appeal to a younger and more discerning consumer base are threatening the market.”

Half-coated biscuits such as chocolate digestives share joint first position with individually-wrapped varieties as the nation’s favourite sweet biscuit.

Next most popular are cookies such as chocolate chip, while cream biscuits such as custard creams take third position. Sweetmeal or wholemeal biscuits are in fourth place and tea biscuits in fifth.

Cream crackers are the nation’s number one savoury biscuit choice, with cheese biscuits in second place and rye crackers in third.

Breadsticks and cheese straws rank in fourth place while savoury assortments come fifth.

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