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Cheeseboards and platters would be bare without the addition of a savoury biscuit or two, and for the savoury-toothed among us they offer a salt/crunch balance that hits just right come snack time or alongside a drink.
Speciality Food retailers are rightly famed for their kaleidoscopic cheese counters, but the perfectly-paired savoury biscuit to accompany these should not be forgotten – in fact, they offer a great opportunity to upsell and make these cheeses sing.
“One thing that has always excited us is the diversity and variety of the cheeses offered by fine food retailers across the UK,” begins Daniel Smith, sales and marketing manager at Stag Bakeries. “With so many flavours and textures on offer, and the brilliant heritage and provenance of all our regional cheesemakers, there has never been a more exciting time to be working on biscuits to pair with these cheeses.”
“The sheer breadth of cheeses now available also means that there are tremendous opportunities as biscuit makers to be creative and find all sorts of new flavour combinations. To that end, we are really encouraged by the incredible variety of savoury biscuits from a wide range of producers that are now available to consumers nationwide as people look to create and curate their own personalised cheeseboards.
“We feel there is a real appetite for new product development in savoury biscuits, whether that be using different flour types or trying out new flavours, thanks largely to the way fine food retailers and in turn their customers have embraced the wider choice available.”
For Daniel, it’s a smart move to stock innovative, flavour-first savoury biscuits alongside the simpler, classic options. “We have found that while there are staple cracker types that consumers love and will always go back to, there is also plenty of room to experiment with ingredients, textures, and cracker types as there is a real enthusiasm to experiment and try new things,” he explains.
“An example from our own experience was using seaweed in two of our traditional biscuit types, water biscuits and oatcakes, on paper an unconventional decision but something customers really took to as they looked for something unique to pair with cheese or use as a canape base.”
An important consideration of the independent retailer has to be catering to customers following restricted diets, as well as those looking for healthier options, and thankfully there’s a raft of delicious free-from savoury biscuits on the market.
Based in Melbourne, Australia, Olina’s Bakehouse has become a popular supplier of crackers to the UK’s independent trade and is a trusted brand for consumers on the hunt for quality free-from products without compromise. Seven of their 14-strong range of crackers are certified gluten-free, with four of those also vegan and keto-friendly.
“The gluten-free products have really delighted the free from community and provide the same quality [as the rest of our range] without compromise,” explains Mash Chiles, UK and EU sales manager at Gourmet Partners. With the range including Fig & Sunflower Seed and Cranberry & Pumpkin Seed Toasts, as well as Wafer Crackers and Flatbreads, customers following a gluten-free diet are sure to be delighted.
“In reality, the products taste so good that they really merge the core range biscuit category and the free-from categories together, and in many cases the free-from products happily sit on the same shelf as the core range biscuits,” says Mash.
“This is good news, especially as it introduces Olina’s Bakehouse’s healthy alternative products to the everyday grocery cupboard, proving consumers do not need to compromise on flavour, quality or product usage should they make the switch to free-from biscuits.”