Retailer insight: Must-stock sweet and savoury biscuits

26 May 2022, 09:10 AM
  • Laura Roberts, owner of Laura’s Larder in Orpington, talks us through her must-stock sweet and savoury biscuits
Retailer insight: Must-stock sweet and savoury biscuits

What are the best-selling biscuits - sweet and savoury - at Laura’s Larder?
We have a large family base where we are and everyone loves to chat over drinks and biscuits! We have stocked Frank’s since day one and love the range, especially the dipped chocolate variety. Frank’s Chocolate Orange Dipped is our best-seller, hands down. Although savoury are second place in revenue, Miller’s toast are becoming a firm favourite as work well with both our cheeses and pates.

What do your shoppers look for when buying biscuits?
We have four large primary schools in the area and this means young families and busy parents. For sweet biscuits this is a treat with friends or me-time, so indulgent grown-up biscuits sell well and of course we must always stock the fun gingerbread characters for the kiddies.

In terms of crackers we sell a wide range to match our cheeses and I think the cracker is a part of the “cheese and crackers combo” which is growing in importance massively. On this side people are asking more and more about crackers which match what they are eating, for example Peters Yard Peppercorn with soft creamy cheeses and Millers Fruit Toasts with a blue. Shoppers are also more and more interested in where things are made so we try to buy British almost entirely and share stories about who makes the products and where.

Do you have a gluten-free/free-from range? If so, why, and how popular is it?
Yes we do, and it’s certainly one that’s growing. Miller’s offer great gluten-free crackers and toasts. And for sweet biscuits, The Zingiberi Bakery’s Captain’s Crackers make a gluten-free cookie which is universally liked, they are made in Kent too which our shoppers love as not too far away. When we buy not British we buy quality and of course Seggiano‘s Gluten-Free Amaretti are extremely popular with those who can and can’t eat gluten.

Do trends affect your biscuit range at all?
For us it’s events such as Valentines and Mother’s Day. But one that took me by surprise being a newbie was teacher gifts. All these are massive drivers for selling sweet and savoury biscuits. We sell Simon’s Shortbread - which is delicious, as light as air, and looks great in glass jars. They absolutely fly out for teacher’s gifts at the end of every term and year.

Have you noticed any other trends on the horizon?
The growing base of customers who are not eating gluten or dairy is truly apparent across the board. I think producers are creating food that now tastes good for these consumers but one thing that is going to come into question as things are becoming expensive everywhere is why is it so much more expensive to be dairy or gluten-free

I think as well we need to consider other health factors which are not addressed at all, with an ageing population this is interesting, about half of all grown adults over 50 develop diverticulitis and should be careful about eating nuts and seeds, and yet this is never considered. It’s very difficult actually to buy foods in this category which are tasty and cater for this sector, definitely room for improvement here and I would suggest a missed revenue opportunity. It all fits into the gut and digestive health, a growing trend, which should be easy, and delicious.

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