The specialty desserts category is becoming more significant, due to the popularity of portion control desserts with consumers and the opportunity the category provides for retailers to differentiate themselves from other in-store bakeries. The category’s growing popularity is particularly significant around Valentine’s Day, which was the top-selling week for specialty desserts during the 52-week period ending Oct. 27, 2012. The category posted average weekly sales of $146 per store, an increase of 3.1 percent compared to the previous year.
Specialty desserts accounted for 1.3 percent of in-store bakery sales, which was steady compared to the previous year. The category is made up of tarts, éclairs, dipped/covered fruits, baklava, cannoli, cream puffs, fudge, cobblers/crisps, custards/puddings, Napoleons, dumplings, assorted/variety dessert trays and other miscellaneous desserts.
During the latest 52-week period, the week of Valentine’s Day posted the highest average dollar sales for the specialty desserts category, at $511 per store. This was an impressive 47 percent increase compared to the previous year, again demonstrating the growing importance of the specialty desserts category relative to Valentine’s Day sales. The weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s also posted high sales for specialty desserts. The week of Thanksgiving posted sales of $236 per store. The weeks of Christmas and New Year’s had sales of $345 and $216 per store, respectively. The lowest selling week for specialty desserts occurred the week ending July 28, 2012, with average sales of $103 per store.
Regionally, the East and West regions outperformed the national $146 average for specialty desserts, selling $218 and $157 per store per week, respectively. While the East region increased average sales slightly from the previous year (up 0.9 percent), the West region had the largest gain in average sales of all the regions, with a 7.7 percent increase from the previous year. The West region also drove growth the week of Valentine’s Day with a 122 percent increase in average weekly dollar sales compared to the previous year. Dipped/covered fruits drove growth in the West region for both the 52-week period and the week of Valentine’s Day.
The South region posted average weekly sales of $130 per store, followed by the Central region with $102 per store. This was a modest increase of 2.2 percent for the South region, and a 0.3 percent decrease for the Central region.
Nationally during the 52 weeks ending Oct, 27, 2012, tarts, éclairs and dipped/covered fruits accounted for the bulk of specialty dessert sales. During the week of Valentine’s Day, dipped/covered fruits were the highest selling specialty dessert category with an average of $353 per store, an impressive 104 percent increase from the previous year. Dipped/covered fruits also had the most significant growth during the 52-week period, increasing 70 percent from the previous year to $15 per store per week.
Tarts and éclairs were the top two highest selling specialty desserts during the latest 52 weeks, posting average weekly sales of $45 and $31 per store, respectively. During the week of Valentine’s Day, tarts and éclairs averaged sales of $50 and $38 per store, respectively.
This sales review is provided by Nielsen Perishables Group. Based in Chicago, Nielsen Perishables Group specializes in retail measurement, analytics, marketing communications, category development, promotional best practices and shopper insights. Reported results are for Oct. 30, 2011, through Oct. 27, 2012. Results were compiled from key U.S. grocery, mass/supercenter and club chains, including 17,000 stores nationwide.
For more information, contact Nielsen Perishables Group: Kelli Beckel, 773/929-7013; email: Kelli.Beckel@nielsen.com.