Britons Take the Biscuit

Economy Slows: Sweet Treats Increase

As Britain’s economy again experiences problems, it seem that the average Brit in the street is dealing with this dilemma through a good old chocolate digestive. Indeed, research has shown that men and women in Britain are boiling the kettle for a nice cup of tea as they sit down to dunk in their biscuit. It’s not just the chocolate digestives though that are teaming up with a brew…custard creams are gaining in popularity also.

Sweet Sales: Bitter Budget

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Indeed, sales of the sweet treats in England have gone up by 22 percent over the last five years (bringing in £2.2b), simultaneous to a worsening of the country’s economy. But there could be another reason for an increase in the divulgence of the sweet treat. Now that consumers are spending less on entertainment due to tightening their budgetary belt (perhaps something they won’t be able to replicate on their jeans belt), they are instead spending some of this cash on comfort foods. It’s not quite the same as a night out on the town, but it’s for sure a lot cheaper. Mintel research found that 54 percent of Britons are often downing a “biscuit or two with a hot drink,” and there is the expectation that biscuit sales will escalate an additional 15 percent by 2015, bringing the figure up to £2.6b. Indeed, according to senior food and drink analyst at Mintel, Amy Lloyd, “the UK biscuit industry has benefited from consumers reaching for the biscuit barrel throughout the recession. The ritualistic nature of eating biscuits with a hot drink appeals to consumers, demonstrating how ingrained this occasion is within British culture.”

Biscuits Move with the Times

There is somewhat of a need for change however. Although people in their 40s and up may be regular tea-dunkers, the younger generation don’t necessarily want a bikkie to put into a hot cup of tea. So now it is important for biscuit makers to come up with something a bit different, that will go nicely with a cold drink. Nonetheless, chocolate digestives (along with biscuits that come wrapped individually) remain in top position as “the nation’s favorite sweet biscuit,” with over 53 percent of the nation having purchased one of these in the last year. Next was chocolate chips which beat custard creams that came in number three along with Bourbons at 39 percent. But the nation is also becoming somewhat nutrition-smart as indicative of lower-fat/calorie biscuits boasting yearly sales of £468million. It’s always nice to have a sweet treat but it’s no good if that renders you gaining so much weight that you have to buy new clothes…especially not in today’s somewhat unstable economy.


James Fishman has been involved in the world of online magazines for more than 15 years. He helped launch Sunstone Online and continues to improve the magazine as site editor and administrator. His writing focuses primarily business and technology. To be in touch with James, feel free to contact him at james[at]

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