Cheesecake sales were stagnant in the last year, but growth within individual cheesecake slices poses an opportunity to adjust your assortment to focus on popular smaller sized offerings.
In the 52 weeks ending May 28, 2011, cheesecakes contributed 1.8 percent of bakery department sales across the United States, remaining steady from the previous year. In-store bakery cheesecake categories include plain, strawberry, other fruit, assorted/variety and other cheesecakes. Nationally, cheesecakes averaged $181 per store per week, a 0.3 percent decrease from the previous year.
Cheesecakes are the seventh largest contributor to cake sales in the bakery department. However, when including $20 million in sales from cheesecake slices (typically broken out separately), its rank within cakes rises to fifth.
Assorted cheesecake platters remained the leading variety in the last year with 38.8 percent of cheesecake sales. Plain cheesecakes accounted for another 24.2 percent of sales. Both varieties lost sales from the prior year. As the bakery department continues a shift in product sizes, smaller product sizes offer an opportunity for these popular varieties to regain sales.
Cheesecake slices showed strong growth with a 5 percent increase in sales over the previous 52 weeks. Although this can be attributed partially to price increases, it also shows that consumers are still purchasing gourmet treats.
The cheesecake category posted its highest sales around the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays, with consumers spending $424 and $324 per store per week, respectively. The week of Halloween did not fare as well, and cheesecakes registered their lowest sales of the year with $136 per store. Finding a way to position cheesecakes as adults’ Halloween treat could help capture some of the opportunity that exists around the holiday.
Average weekly sales for cheesecakes were mixed across U.S. regions. The East had the highest average dollar sales with $226 per store per week, flat from the previous year.
The West region accounted for the second highest average sales with $195 per store per week. With low distribution compared to the other regions, the West has opportunity for growth.
The Central region was the only region to raise prices on cheesecakes, but the price increase was not enough to make up for the 7.8 percent decrease in unit sales. This resulted in a decrease of average weekly sales to $166 per store.
The South region had the lowest sales per store per week; however, sales were highest in this region when accounting for the smaller store sizes. Cheesecakes’ dollar contribution to bakery sales also was highest in the South with 2 percent of all sales coming from cheesecakes.
Although sales have stalled a bit over the last year, cheesecake slices remain a growing area of interest. Sales have increased 44 percent from 2006. It will be important to watch whether sales can maintain their momentum.
This sales review is provided by the Perishables Group, Inc., a Chicago-based fresh food consulting firm. Reported results are for May 8, 2010, through May 28, 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.