Sweetgoods lost ground as contributors to the overall bakery supercategory during the past year as consumers turned to breakfast alternatives with lower price points, namely bagels and donuts. Due to the economic shift, a growing number of consumers view price as a greater priority than they have in the past.
The sweetgoods category is composed of coffee cakes, sweet rolls, cinnamon rolls, pastries, flavored breads, Hispanic sweetgoods and other sweetgoods. Nationally, sweetgoods' sales accounted for an average of 6.7 percent of total bakery department dollar sales during the 52 weeks ending Feb. 27, 2010, down 0.4 percent from 7.0 percent the previous year. Two years ago, the sweetgoods subcategory contributed 8.9 percent to the total bakery category, so there is evidence the pace of the contribution drop is slowing.
Sweetgoods decreased 2.8 percent in dollar sales, while the bakery department grew 1.7 percent in year-over-year sales. Nationally, sweetgoods averaged $641 per store per week, a decrease of 2.8 percent from $660 the previous year. Driven by Easter holiday celebrations, sales peaked during the week of April 11, 2009, at $796 per store. All sweetgoods subcategories, save for flavored breads, contributed to the sales lift during this week.
Although the East region experienced the greatest dollar sales, with an average of $845 per store per week, its contribution to total bakery was the smallest among the four regions at 6.1 percent because other breakfast bakery options, such as muffins and bagels, are strong in this region. The Central, West and South regions outpaced the 6.7 percent national average contribution to the bakery department with 6.9 percent, 6.8 percent and 7.1 percent contribution, respectively.
Sweetgoods decreased sales year over year in all four regions. The decrease in sales may be attributed to the 5.9 percent increase in average retail price, as well as a decrease in the SKU count in the sweetgoods category. The West region saw the greatest decline in dollar sales, decreasing 4.8 percent year over year. All regions also experienced a decrease in sweetgoods contribution to total bakery department compared to the previous year.
Nationally, other sweetgoods — consisting of turnovers, strudels, hot cross buns, rugalach and scones — led sales in the category with a 27.4 percent dollar share. Coffee cakes posted the next largest contribution to total sweetgoods with 21.9 percent of dollar share, followed by sweet rolls at 18.7 percent, cinnamon rolls at 14.9 percent, pastries at 8.7 percent, flavored bread at 5.6 percent and Hispanic sweetgoods at 2.8 percent of dollar share.
Cinnamon rolls and coffee cakes were the only two subcategories to gain market share within the sweetgoods category, each increasing by 0.3 percent. This reflects another aspect of consumer behavior during recessions — a desire for comfort food. In the sweetgoods category, cinnamon rolls and coffee cakes stand out as traditional, homespun classics when compared to more elegant, high-end pastries.
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 Feb. 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.