Peanut butter ‘the rising star’ in UK sweet spreads market – Mintel

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

UK peanut butter volume sales rose 17% between 2010 and 2012 to 14m kg.
UK peanut butter volume sales rose 17% between 2010 and 2012 to 14m kg.

Related tags: Peanut butter, Chocolate

The UK is demonstrating a healthy appetite for peanut butter as sales for the nutty spread have grown 20% in the last two years while jam sales have remained flat, according to market analysts Mintel.

UK peanut butter sales climbed from £47m (€55m) in 2010 to £56m (€66m) in 2012 driven by innovation and marketing campaigns, leading Mintel to call the segment “a rising star”.

It is slowly catching up with jam, the UK’s bestselling spread, which posted stagnant sales over the same two-year period at £118m (€139m).

Mintel said that 7% of British consumers say they have switched from jam or marmalade to peanut butter or chocolate spread, a segment that 24% over two years to £46m (€54m).

Own-brands vs Branded

Kiti Soininen, head of UK Food, Drink and Foodservice Research at Mintel, told FoodNavigator: “The challenge at the moment is that own-brands are quite active in the market, making it harder for new players to establish a foothold in the segment.”

Leading UK supermarkets have launched a string of new products such as Sainsbury's Choc Chip Peanut Butter and Tesco Orange Chocolate Spread that has helped the category grow.

Branded players include Whole Earth Foods and Sun-Pat, which US firm Hain Celestial acquired from Premier Foods in August last year. Ferrero’s Nutella is also strong in the chocolate spreads segment.

A few recent Innovations from branded players have included jam such as Smucker's Goober Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jelly Stripes and Choco Jam Strawberry Chocolate. “Whether these can gain traction remains to be seen,” said Soininen.

Marmalade, honey and other spreads

Marmalade, a spread favored by the over 55s, is one of the few sweet spreads that has experienced UK sales declines in an otherwise growing market.

Marmalade accounts for 14% of the UK sweets spreads market, but sales have fallen 7% over the last two years to £56m (€66m) in 2012.

In contrast, honey is benefitting from a healthy and natural positioning that has helped the segment grow 8% in two years to £107m (€126m) in 2012.

“Philadelphia with Cadbury - though falling outside our market definition - is another entrant affecting the competitive landscape,”​ said Soininen.

She added that there was a niche demand for premium/adults varieties of sweets spreads, and for sweet spreads with added benefits. “These could offer a point of difference for certain operators,”​ she said.

Related topics: Market Trends

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