Brownies and dessert bars exhibited flat dollar sales during the last 12 months compared to the previous year, despite a 4.1 percent increase in the total desserts supercategory across the entire United States. Overall, brownies and dessert bars had the smallest dollar growth compared to the other dessert categories, which may indicate that, while brownies remain an affordable indulgence, consumers are considering other sweet treats.
Brownies and dessert bars made up 3.1 percent of dessert category sales during the 52 weeks ending March 27, 2010. The brownies and dessert bars category contributed 1.4 percent to total bakery dollar sales, 0.1 percent less than the previous year's contribution. Nationally, brownies and dessert bars averaged $138 per store per week, a 0.4 percent increase from the previous year.
The brownie and dessert bar subcategories include regular brownies, mini/two-bite brownies, iced brownies, gourmet/large brownies, message brownies, blondies and dessert bars. Regular brownies (“regular” based on size) made up more than a third of the category, with a 34.4 percent share. Mini/two-bite brownies and iced brownies had the second and third largest share, with 27.1 percent and 17.5 percent of category dollar sales, respectively.
Across the total United States, blondies grew the most in dollar sales among the brownie and dessert bar subcategories, followed by message brownies; however, both subcategories combined represented less than 1 percent in dollar sales. Regular brownies, iced brownies and gourmet/large brownies also were up in average dollars sales versus the prior year. However, dessert bars and mini/two-bite brownies lost dollar sales, down 14.2 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively. Brownie sales are greatly affected by holidays, as many households include chocolate in their celebrations. The highest brownie and dessert bar sales occurred during the week of Christmas, with $181 per store. Also, a significant spike in sales occurred around Valentine's Day, with $180 per store per week.
Although nationally brownies and dessert bars were flat year-over-year, there were some regional successes. At the subcategory level, regular brownies saw consistent gains versus a year ago across all four regions. However, based on the mixed results among the remaining subcategories, it appears sales are affected by regional consumer preferences and retailer distribution trends.
This sales review, provided by the Perishables Group FreshFacts® powered by Nielsen, includes supermarket in-store bakery scanner data results from the 52 weeks ending March 27, 2010, representing more than 62 percent of the national supermarket ACV share. For more information, contact the Perishables Group's Kelli Beckel by phone: 773/929-7013, or e-mail: KelliB@perishablesgroup.com.
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