packaging to offset
prices, while appealing
Healthful trends continue to dominate the snack cake aisle. According to IRI data for the 52 weeks ended July 13, donut and snack cake sales increased 12.5 percent, no doubt influenced by the increasing availability of healthful snack cake varieties.
“The health trend is the largest macro-trend in the sweet baked good category,” says Jon Silvon, director of marketing, Tasty Baking Co., Philadelphia. Snack cake companies continue to create indulgent, flavorful products in better-for-you form by reducing calories and sugar.
“People want to eat great-tasting snacks, but an increasing number of consumers don't want to feel guilty about it afterward,” says Brent Bradshaw, brand manager, Flowers Foods, Thomasville, Ga. Snack cake brands, such as TastyKake, Mrs. Freshley's and Blue Bird, are providing healthful cakes with guilt-free indulgence. Better-for-you snacks containing fiber, 100 calories per serving and 0 g of trans fat are in demand, as are sugar-free and low-fat options. “These snacks taste great and help consumers control their portion size and calorie intake,” Bradshaw says. He predicts that the value-added area of better-for-you snack cakes will continue to grow.
When it comes to snack cake favorites, regional preferences differ. For example, Philadelphia consumers buy more cakes with icing than cakes with filling, while Pittsburg consumers prefer cakes with fillings and icing, Silvon notes. Other demographic trends have some companies targeting the flavor preferences of the growing Hispanic market.
Tasty Baking Co. finds its customers continually rate peanut butter-chocolate snack cakes and snack cakes containing multiple layers of chocolate as favorites. Another popular choice is a sponge cake with butterscotch flavored icing. Seasonal flavors also draw consumer attention. The TastyKake brand offers limited edition fall flavors, such as spiced Krimpet and caramel apple pie, and a chocolate lovers pie for Valentine's Day.
Increasing commodity costs are affecting the snack cake business. Packaging is one area companies continue to evaluate with cost-efficiency and sustainability in mind. Companies might consider different paperboard or a packaging design that requires less paperboard. Consumers also are demanding recloseable packaging, which is easy-to-open and keeps products fresher longer after opening.
Companies are thinking carefully about how to increase pricing when faced with higher ingredient costs, Silvon says. Most companies first try to absorb the costs as an organization by budgeting in other areas before raising prices on the consumer end.
|Brands||Dollar Sales||Dollar Sales |
|Dollar Share |
|Unit Sales||Unit sales |
|Unit Share |
|HOSTESS 100 CALORIE PACKS||40,515,200||55.7||4.4||11,396,400||44.0||2.2|
|LITTLE DEBBIE COSMIC BROWNIES||32,147,490||4.8||3.5||24,056,520||0.8||4.7|
|ENTENMANNS LITTLE BITES||24,037,730||11.2||2.6||7,997,811||3.5||1.6|
Source: Information Resources Inc. statistics for the 52-week period ended July 13, 2008.
|Fresh Bakery Products||52 Weeks |
Ended July 13
|% Change |
|52 Weeks |
Ended July 13
|% Change |
|Pies (excl Snack Pies)||204,006,600||-6.6||45,180,060||-12.2|
|Cakes (excl snack/coffee)||56,559,660||-0.9||133,098,800||-3.7|
|Frozen Bakery Products|
|Sweetgoods (excl cheesecake)||210,512,500||4.4||58,030,460||5.8|
|Refrigerated Bakery Products|
|Cakes (excl Snack/Coffee)||71,079,770||-2.3||9,164,465||-3.7|
|Pies (excl Snack Pies)||22,588,690||-18.5||4,259,266||-20.9|
Statistics were supplied by Information Resources Inc., a Chicago-based firm. Its scanner data covers more than 11,300 supermarkets and represents 90 percent of all supermarket volumes. ADG Aug. 12, 2008