As a key component to supermarket in-store bakery sales, the dessert category continued to grow nationally during the 52-week period ending July 26, 2008.
As a key component to supermarket in-store bakery sales, the dessert category continued to grow nationally during the 52-week period ending July 26, 2008. Desserts also recorded increased dollar sales in all four regions of the United States (East, Central, South and West). All segments within the category demonstrated impressive dollar growth compared to the previous year.
Dessert sales averaged $4,162 a week per store. Despite increased weekly sales, overall dessert contribution to the total bakery decreased slightly from the previous year to 46.3 percent nationally. This can be attributed, in part, to in-store bakeries increasing their retail prices across the board to account for exceptional ingredient costs last year. In-store bakeries increased their retail prices by an average of nearly 12 percent this year, according to Modern Baking's 2008 Supermarket Bakery Survey.
Cake sales led the category, accounting for more than 61.7 percent of total dessert dollar sales. Cookies and pies followed cakes at 19.8 percent and 13.6 percent respectively. Brownies/dessert bars and specialty desserts made up less than 5 percent of total dessert category dollar sales.
Cookies showed the most national growth of any desserts, increasing 7.9 percent compared to the same period last year. Cakes, the largest contributing segment, grew 7.7 percent nationally.
Sales peaked for desserts during the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas, with average store sales at more than $6,963 and $5,666 respectively.
Regionally, the East posted the highest dessert sales. Average weekly sales per store rose 7 percent to $5,085. Despite recording the highest average sales, dessert sales in the East contributed the least to total bakery sales with 39.2 percent, reporting no growth from the previous year. In the East, the strongest growing segment was cookies, up 9.6 percent.
The Central region had the second highest sales of desserts in the period measured. Average weekly dollar sales per store reached $4,859, up 8.5 percent. Contribution to the total bakery was 49 percent. Specialty dessert sales grew 12.7 percent, the largest increase in the region.
The South reported the lowest average weekly dessert sales at $3,667 per store. Yet, desserts contributed 50.1 percent to total bakery sales there, more than any other region.
The West region averaged $4,023 weekly dessert sales per store and contributed 46.5 percent to total bakery department sales. Cakes showed the largest growth in the West, up 11.6 percent. Brownies/dessert bars were the only segment to report a decline, down 3.4 percent compared to the previous year.
This sales review was provided by the Perishables Group Inc., West Dundee, Ill., an independent consulting firm for the fresh food industry. Reported results are for Aug. 4, 2007, through July 26, 2008, and represent 61 percent of national supermarket ACV share. For more information, contact the Perishables Group: Kelli Beckel, 773/929-7013; e-mail: KelliB@perishablesgroup.com.