Companies in this industry make cookies, crackers, ice cream cones, and similar bakery products. Major companies in the US include Kellogg's US Snacks Division, Mondelez International, Pepperidge Farm, and Snyder's-Lance; other leading firms include ARYZTA (Switzerland), Britannia Industries (India), Parle Biscuits (India), United Biscuits (UK), and Want Want Holdings (China).
Demand is driven by population growth, consumer tastes, and health considerations. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations, effective marketing, and a strong sales force. Large companies have advantages in purchasing, distribution, and marketing. Small operations can compete effectively by manufacturing allergen- and sugar-free products, high-end cookies and crackers, or products containing unusual ingredients. The US industry is highly concentrated: the top 50 companies account for more than 90% of industry revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products are cookies and similar sweet items (about 50% of US industry revenue) and crackers (40%). Popular cookies include chocolate chip, oatmeal, crème-filled, and sandwich varieties. Other products classified with cookies include toaster pastries, ice cream cones, and wafers for ice cream sandwiches. Major types of crackers include saltines and graham crackers. Other cracker products include melba toast, cracker meal and crumbs, and taco shells. In English-speaking countries outside of the US, cookies and crackers are often called biscuits.