Horizons #70: Biscuits, cookies and crackers in Asia

28 April, 2022

by Professor Ross Kingwell, AEGIC Chief Economist

Asian demand for biscuits, cookies and crackers is a growth opportunity for Australian grains.

Some recently released market research from Mintel confirms there are sound growth prospects for the consumption of biscuits, cookies and crackers in Asia. As shown in Figure 1, Australia and New Zealand consumers already individually consume on average over 6 kilograms of biscuits, cookies and crackers each year. By contrast, consumers in many Asian countries individually consume far less; but the prospects for consumption growth over the next five years make those markets attractive to suppliers of the ingredients (e.g. wheat flour) for those products.

Population growth and further per capita consumption growth of biscuits, cookies and crackers in Asian countries underpin a market opportunity for Australian wheat. AEGIC identified this growth opportunity three years ago and is supporting investment into Australian soft wheat production. Major wheat breeders in Australia are also enlarging their soft wheat breeding programs to deliver better performing soft wheat varieties for farmers.

Figure 1: Per capita consumption of biscuits, cookies and crackers in Asian countries and prospects for growth in consumption. Source: Mintel (2022)

Australia increasingly will be well-placed to supply the qualities of grains required to manufacture biscuits, cookies and crackers. Yet the way biscuits, cookies and crackers are consumed in Asia is changing. Increasingly consumers want a variety of biscuit types when they buy a packet (see Figure 2). Also an increasing proportion of consumers want multi-packs for portion control. People snack on biscuits so they want to prevent binge eating by purchasing multi-packs to aid portion control.

Figure 2: The percentage of new product launches of biscuits and crackers that have two or more packs of different types

Below is one example of a multi-pack of small biscuits from China. The pack contains eight smaller packs, each stuffed with yogurt flavoured probiotic bean shaped biscuits. It retails as a 76g pack containing the eight small packs.

Also, consumers increasingly want heathier ingredients like vegetables or nuts in the biscuits, cookies and crackers they buy. AEGIC is monitoring changes in the way biscuits, cookies and crackers are consumed in Asian countries to better inform the Australian wheat industry’s response.

So, as consumers in Asia become more populous and increase their per capita consumption of biscuits, cookies and crackers, it’s a market growth opportunity on the doorstep of Australia’s grains industry.

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Horizons: the AEGIC Economics and Market Insights blog

Expert grains industry analysis and commentary from AEGIC’s Economics and Market Insight Team on a range of big-picture topics that affect Australia’s export grains sector.


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