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Introduction of Biscuit Industry in West and Central Africa

Biscuits remain the number one thread for children in west and central Africa

It is now common to see the biscuits section in region supermarkets filled with various different types of biscuits under numerous brand names, with some quite unusual types of biscuits becoming increasingly available. Depending on their economic status, some are also increasingly willing trade up from generic unbranded biscuits to private label biscuits, and then again to premium brands from Europe.

Major Biscuits Category – Availability and Produced in West & Central Africa





Observation & Market Shae

Short Dough – Sweet

✓ (85%)

✓ (15%)


60% in Central Africa and 40% In West Africa
( Francophone Countries )

Hard Dough – Sweet

✓ 10%



55% in West African English Countries and 45% in Central African Countries

Hard Dough – Salt & Snack

✓ (10%)



High demand in West African English countries (75%) and very less demand in Central Part (25%)

Fermented Cracker




Demand increasing in  West African English countries (75%) and very less in Central African Region 

Short Dough – Cream Fill




High demand in Central African countries (65%) compare to West African English speaking countries (35%)

Hard Dough – Cream Fill




Mainly Produces in West African Countries, but has good demand.

Wire Cut / Deposited Cookies




Very High Demand in Francophone, west African countries (55%) and Central African Countries (35%) and Less demand in English countries

Encrusted Cookies




Very High Demand in Francophone, west African countries (55%) and Central African Countries (35%) and Less demand in English countries





Demand is increasing since last few years

Biscuit consumption Pattern in West and Central African Countries

In generally most of the west and central African population, used biscuits as breakfast rather than snack for teatime.  Eating pattern varies depends on the countries mainly most of the school student use as their breakfast and some use as snack during the working hours.

Key Point:

West African – English Speaking Countries

Most of the English speaking countries, in West Africa, preferred less sweet varieties, compared to francophone countries. Considering about sweet verities most popular and bestselling type are Milk Flavoured Biscuits, such as Milk Shortcake and Shortbread type rich formulation. Also most popular in high fibre digestive, oats type products. As they like less sweet biscuits, semi-sweet Petit Beurre, Mari, & Teatime has good demand in those countries.

In general high demand of savoury flavoured, salt and sweet type hard dough biscuits. Some companies produced such kind of biscuits but still people following imported verities from Asia, Middle East and Europe.

Considering about the Cream Crackers and Soda Crackers has very high demand in those countries but less production capacity.

>>Cream Cracker Faults & Remedies

Considering the pack style, Horizontal Fin Seal, Vertical Pouch Bag & Slug Pack type available in these countries.  All most all the primary pack normally including secondary pack before enter to the master carton. Regarding about the weight, starting from 12g, which has 3 or 4 biscuits & up to 55g, which has 10 or 12 biscuits (Horizontal Fin Seal Type) and 45g to 85g (Slug Pack). Since 2015, most of the local company switch to more slug pack type production than horizontal fin seal type.

West & Central Africa  – Francophone Countries

Their biscuits eating style is very different compared to that of West Africa English-speaking countries. Most of them following high sweet verities short dough type such as Glucose, Coconut and Milk & Chocolate type. Considering the formulation is not rich as English countries, only high sugar and harder structure than West African English country production.

Considering the pack style, Horizontal Fin Seal & Vertical Pouch Bag type are more common in these countries and has secondary pack too. Some local companies selling their products only with secondary pack style not including Master Carton.  Regarding about the weight, starting from 9g, which has 3 or 4 biscuits & up to 55g, which has 10 or 12 biscuits.

Distribution policy in West & Central Africa

Direct distribution: The producer or supplier distributes his products directly to all points of sale (markets, supermarkets, bakeries, service stations, neighbourhood shops, Call box); it is practiced by all local producers/suppliers, guaranteeing a good profit margin.

Indirect distribution: The producer or supplier goes through wholesalers or semi-wholesalers to distribute his products. This distribution policy is much more practiced for imported cookies.

There is also a range of so-called "elite" Cookies, high-end and aimed at social classes A, B, C1. These are usually cookies from foreign brands from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, America, and even other African countries. Some examples of these cookies: Milk Shortcake, Shortbread, Sablés, Petit Beurre Nice, etc.

Range aimed at people of social class C1-C2, D and E, mostly from local production such as Glucose, Coconut, Malt & Milk, and Chocolate, Local Petit Beurre, Marie etc.

People from middle and lower social classes represent more than ¾ of population, hence the interest of local producers suppliers to market products suited to their purchasing power.

Thus, in this segment (according to my feelings), there is a diversity of scents. However, some brands enjoy a good mark of sympathy with consumers, exacerbated by their good presence in points of sale. Leadership in this segment is relative and the choice of a brand is strongly influenced by its rate of presence in points of sale.

The profile of the Biscuits consumer

Children, young people, and to a lesser extent women. It is therefore a potentially large market as nearly 45% of the population is under 15 years old.

SWOT Analysis of West and Central Africa Biscuit Industry

SWOT Analysis of West and Central Africa Biscuit Industry

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