Ayisha Koyenikan
As a Global Food & Drinks Analyst, Ayisha provides insights to clients in Europe and around the world in the prepared meals and bakery sectors.

Snacking before bed isn’t ideal, but when late night cravings kick in, it’s just impossible to resist. This highlights an untapped opportunity to develop more nighttime products that can add an element of calm and relaxation through consumption – and biscuits are well positioned to fit into this category.

The hectic pace of modern life is creating a market for nighttime products that help people of all ages unwind before bedtime, sleep better and restore the body while they rest – as identified in the Mintel Food and Drink Trend ‘The Night Shift’. Consumers are increasingly interested in eating functional foods that deliver physical or mental benefits over and above satiation and nutrition. At the same time, on-the-go lifestyles and evolving attitudes towards traditional meal structures is fueling growth in snacking occasions.

When two key trends like these collide, there is opportunity for innovation that fulfills a need consumers didn’t even know they had! Indeed, interest in relaxing, calming nighttime products paired with a love of snacking points to a largely untapped opportunity for bedtime biscuits.

Eating biscuits at night is by no means a new idea, but healthier formulations and added functional ingredients could help reduce some of the guilt associated with late-night snacking; indeed, about half of UK consumers agree that sweet biscuits with healthy ingredients make a good, guilt-free treat.

Numerous categories have already tapped into the nighttime snacking occasion – even major cereal players have tried to insert traditional breakfast products into the nighttime snacking space.

Kellogg’s All-Bran Apple Crunch Wheat Flakes: This cereal can be enjoyed as a meal at night for improved digestion (Mexico).
B.eat Peaceful Night Snack: Comprises dehydrated apple and cherry, banana and almond, and helps relax at night (Brazil).
Nourish Veda Relax 100% Natural Health Bar: This snack bar contains Tulsi (Holy Basil), an ayurvedic herb used for centuries due to its calming and sleeping aid properties (India).

 

Follow doggy bedtime biscuits’ lead and tap into botanicals

Bedtime biscuits already exist – but for pets. Lily’s Kitchen is one of a few pet food companies that provide bedtime biscuits for dogs. They are made with probiotic yogurt, honey, passion and chamomile flowers, and the company’s website states: “The organic chamomile and passionflowers are botanicals associated with helping to get a good night’s sleep. We’ve also included organic probiotic yoghurt, which is a lovely soothing ingredient that may aid digestion.”

The good news is that botanical ingredients resonate well with humans too, according to Mintel research. The use of botanical flavours can also help create less-sweet products, reducing sugar content. Two-thirds of UK consumers agree that getting yourself used to less-sweet flavours is the best way to cut down on sugar intake, which is very relevant in sweet biscuits.