Biscuits are ready-to-eat, pocket-friendly, and conventional food that makes them the most popular bakery products worldwide. They have a long shelf life, good taste and are accepted as snacks for all age groups.
No doubt, biscuits are considered a good product for fortification and nutritional improvement. Improving the nutritional profile of biscuits can significantly lead to better health. Biscuits emerged as the top ready-to-eat food and snacking item during the COVID-19 pandemic. Several brands repositioned themselves to offer bakery products that would increase metabolism and immunity of their consumers.
To enhance the nutritional profile of biscuits, the bakery industry is experimenting with ingredients and offering quality products that would be taken as substitute food. There are several innovative ways to produce healthy and low-calorie biscuits. The fortification of biscuits with different kinds of nutrients is a common trend now.
According to a report, the global cream biscuits and cookies market size was approximately $51 billion in 2020. This was on account of nutritional factors such as carbohydrates, fats, and fibers which are essential for good health. In addition to this, the nutritional value of biscuits makes a highly preferred breakfast meal across the globe. Therefore, premium quality biscuits containing a rich taste and flavor are getting highly consumed.
What is nutritional profiling and how does it help?
Nutrient profiling, or nutritional profiling, is the science of classifying or ranking foods by their nutritional composition to promote health and prevent disease. A common use of nutrient profiling is in the creation of nutritional rating systems to help consumers identify nutritious food. Nutritional profiling is useful for food labeling and regulation of health claims.
Nowadays, the challenge before biscuit brands is to improve the nutritional profile of their product, including a reduction in fat and sugar content and enhancement of fiber. Cookies and cream biscuits can be easily made more nutritious and bakery brands have started taking this into consideration, especially amid the pandemic when consumer sentiment was more inclined towards healthy eating.
How nutritional profile of biscuits can be enhanced?
Biscuits can made more nutritious by cutting down on sugar, trans-fats and including high fiber content during the manufacturing process. In this way, biscuits would provide more fiber as well as energy.
Increasing health concerns and changing lifestyles have led Indian manufacturers to experiment with a variety of ingredients to produce healthy as well as tasty and premium biscuits and cookies. More focus is now being laid on producing high fiber biscuits with multi/whole grain and oats. These biscuits are also available in mouth-watering tastes to delight consumers in all age groups.
Despite an economic slowdown during the COVID-19 lockdown, the demand for biscuits and cookies surged. The Indian biscuits industry witnessed a double growth rate in April-May 2020 compared to pre-Covid-19 rates as people stored biscuits and cookies in large quantities during lockdowns.
The festive season in India, starting from September, saw a further upsurge in pent-up demand as people came out to buy bakery products including biscuits and cookies in bulk. The demand for biscuits with high fiber and improved nutritional value is set to increase more with innovation in manufacturing technology and aggressive marketing strategies. According to a report by Zion Market Research, the global biscuits market may hit its highest peak of growth with nearly USD 121 billion earnings by 2028.
Amrinder Singh, Director, Bonn Group of Industries, Ludhiana