Even as consumers are making more of their desserts at home, specialty desserts continue to flourish in the in-store bakery. Like other baked products, they offer an affordable way to indulge. But while cookies and cakes from a tube or box may be accessible to a home baker, most specialty desserts present too great a challenge for the average consumer to prepare at home.
The specialty desserts category is composed of éclairs, cannoli, cream puffs, fudge, dipped/covered fruits, cobblers/ crisps, custards/puddings, napoleons, dumplings, baklava, trays and trifles. Nationally, specialty dessert sales accounted for an average of 1 percent of total bakery department dollar sales during the 52 weeks ending Aug. 28, 2010, up from 0.9 percent from the previous year. Over the past five years, specialty dessert sales have continued to grow, from $68 on average per store per week in 2005 to $93 in 2010, an increase of 3.2 percent from $90 last year.
Sales peaked during the week of Valentine’s Day, when dipped/covered fruit drove category sales, and they also increased during the weeks of Christmas and Mother’s Day.
The East region experienced the greatest dollar sales, with an average of $131 per store per week, while the South posted the highest specialty dessert contribution to total bakery sales, contributing 1.2 percent to department dollar sales. The East region declined 3.3 percent in average sales from the previous year, while the South region remained flat.
The West region accounted for the lowest dollar sales per store per week, with an average of $75, and the lowest contribution to total bakery, contributing 0.8 percent. The category’s average national sales increase was driven by the Central region, which experienced the greatest increase in average sales. It grew 15.7 percent compared to the previous year, anchored by éclair and cannoli growth.
Nationally, éclairs led specialty dessert sales with 36.5 percent dollar share. Cannoli posted the next largest contribution to specialty desserts with 12.5 percent of dollar share, followed by miscellaneous other specialty desserts at 10.3 percent, cream puffs at 9.5 percent, fudge at 7.8 percent, dipped/covered fruits at 7.5 percent, cobblers/crisps at 5.7 percent and custards/puddings at 3.6 percent of dollar share. Napoleons, dumplings, baklava, trays and trifles each contributed 2 percent or less.
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 Aug. 28, 2010, representing 63.2 percent of 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.