Cakes continue to increase sales each year, with five consecutive years of dollar gains. Despite increasing sales, the challenge remains for retailers to remind shoppers of cakes’ versatility and use as an everyday dessert, not just for special occasions.
In the 52 weeks ending Dec. 31, 2011, the national average cake contribution to the in-store bakery was 28.7 percent, which matched the previous year’s share of bakery sales. The cake category includes decorated cakes, dessert cakes, cupcakes, crème or pudding cakes, snack cakes, ice cream cakes, individual desserts, cheesecakes, specialty dessert cakes and wedding cakes. Nationally, cakes averaged $2,968 per store per week, a 3.0 percent increase from the previous year. The category saw its highest sales the week of May 14, 2011, with $3,954 per store per week, which is typical for the category as it coincides with Mother’s Day and graduation season. Another significant peak week for cake sales was the week ending Dec. 24, 2011, when cakes averaged dollar sales of $3,690 per store, giving the category 9.9 percent growth compared to the previous year. Cakes experienced their lowest sales the week of Dec. 3, 2011, with $2,233 per store. This week is traditionally low for cake sales, as it follows the Thanksgiving holiday in which pies control the bakery department.
Average weekly sales for the cake category grew in all U.S. regions compared to the previous year. The East region continues to have the highest average dollar sales with $3,343 per store per week, well above the national average. The Central region also surpassed the national average with $3,193 in weekly sales per store and a contribution to department of 28.5 percent. Although the South region’s cakes had the lowest average dollar sales with $2,725 per store per week, they had the largest contribution to the bakery department with 33.0 percent. The West region was slightly above the national average, with dollar sales of $2,986 per store per week. Cake sales in the West accounted for 29.0 percent of the bakery department, down from 29.3 percent last year.
Within the cakes category, decorated cakes accounted for 30.8 percent of category sales nationally for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 31, 2011, followed by dessert cakes at 19.4 percent contribution. The smaller category contributions included cupcakes (12.2 percent), crème or pudding cakes (10.2 percent) ice cream cakes (6.7 percent), individual desserts (6.6 percent), cheesecakes (6.5 percent), snack cakes (5.3 percent) and specialty dessert cakes (1.9 percent). Wedding cakes accounted for less than 1.0 percent of average weekly dollar sales.
The cupcake trend appears to be holding strong as average weekly dollar sales increased 17.8 percent in 2011 Cupcakes’ contribution to the cake category increased from 10.7 percent to 12.2 percent. Cupcakes had the greatest growth in the East region, increasing 22.8 percent. The week of Valentine’s Day 2011 posted the highest average sales for cupcakes, followed the Halloween and Christmas holidays. This sales review is provided by the Nielsen Perishables Group. Reported results are for Jan. 8, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011, representing more than 63 percent of national supermarket ACV share.
For more information, contact Perishables Group: Kelli Beckel, 773/929-7013; email: KelliB@perishablesgroup.com