Daisy Li
Daisy is an Associate Director with the Mintel Food & Drink team, speciliasing in the China market. She monitors and reports on the latest innovation and trends impacting the Chinese food and drink market.

Chinese consumers have a high demand for better-for-you and nourishing snacks, as consumption of fruit and vegetable snacks, dairy-based snacks and nuts and seeds is on the rise, according to Mintel research on snacking trends in China. To remain relevant, biscuit and cookie brands need to catch up and offer Chinese consumers products that include health claims.

For instance, biscuit brands can capitalise on well-received healthy ingredients by introducing them into new product innovation. Nuts, dairy and coarse grains have enjoyed robust growth in recent years; they are well received not only because they are natural, but also because they provide essential nutrition to the body. Indeed, three quarters of Chinese consumers consider nutritional value to be an important aspect when evaluating the quality of food and drink products.

Allrite Organic 3 Grains Rice Cakes (Thailand) are made with brown rice, red rice and mung beans. According to the manufacturer, the brand selects the best organic ingredients from certified farmlands, and delicately bakes the rice cakes by using pure 100% wholegrains.

Pick Me Nine Veggie Cracker (Thailand) is said to be wholesome, delicious and crunchy. It includes carrot, spring onion, mustard, onion, green chili, broccoli, spinach, black sesame and white sesame.

Capitalise on the ‘daily’ concept

Daily nut products have achieved incredible sales records in the Chinese market in recent years. For example, the leading daily nut brand Three Squirrels sold over 100 million packs in the past seven months. With the blossoming of daily nuts, this daily concept can extend to many categories, such as juice or dairy. The daily basis concept is well accepted by Chinese consumers as an easy-to-adopt nutritional supplement as part of their diet. Biscuit products, also being easy to eat on the go, can further apply this concept to offer consumers healthy daily-basis products.

Hua Mei Milk Cookies with Daily Nuts (China) are made with selected ingredients and are said to be crispy and chewy with a melt-in-the-mouth texture and rich milk aroma.

Babi Daily Grape and Blueberry Flavour Filled Biscuit with Yogurt Coating (China) is a healthy snack combining yogurt and fruit. According to Mintel research on biscuits in China, 58% of consumers would be interested in trying biscuits made with yogurt.

What we think

Biscuits are perceived to have the ability to satisfy both emotional cravings and physical hunger. Although the category is facing competition from other types of snacks, Chinese consumers are still attracted by formulation innovation and premiumisation in the biscuit market.

Brands should communicate the idea of biscuits as not only satisfying cravings and hunger, but also a better-for-you option that consumers can feel good about. If they are provided with more balanced nutrition and added healthy ingredients, biscuits have the potential to further penetrate the market with more consumption occasions.