As summer approaches, sales of sweetgoods typically decline. Finding a way to make sweetgoods a more frequent purchase this summer through promotions and consumer-centric assortment will be vital for the category’s growth.
In the latest 52 weeks ending Feb. 26, 2011, sweetgoods contributed 6.8 percent of total bakery dollar sales across the United States, steady from the previous year. The sweetgoods category includes flavored breads, pastries, coffee cake, cinnamon rolls, sweet rolls, Hispanic sweetgoods and other sweetgoods. Nationally, sweetgoods averaged $676 per store per week, a 2.1 percent increase from the previous year, as almost every subcategory increased average sales.
The category saw its highest sales surrounding the Christmas and Easter holidays, with consumers spending $836 and $802 per store per week, respectively, in preparation for holiday gatherings. The category registered its lowest sales during the summer, particularly the four weeks in July, as consumers’ eating habits shifted in the heat of summer. This lull in sales provides an opportunity for in-store bakeries to promote light and airy treats more conducive to the summer weather.
Other sweetgoods, which include scones, turnovers and strudels, accounted for the largest share of sweetgoods sales with 27.8 percent of category sales nationally for the 52-week period. Coffee cakes accounted for another 20.8 percent of category sales, followed by sweet rolls with another 18.5 percent. Rounding out the category’s contributions were cinnamon rolls (15.4 percent), pastries (8.8 percent), flavored breads (5.7 percent) and Hispanic sweetgoods (2.9 percent).
Category dollar sales grew
Average weekly dollar sales for the sweetgoods category grew in almost every U.S. region compared to the previous year. The East, which had the highest sweetgoods sales, was the lone region to decline in dollars; however, the region’s $828 per store per week far exceeded the other regions. The West region capitalized on lower prices to increase average sales 8.4 percent and earned $725 per store per week. Despite the category’s growth, sweetgoods had the smallest dollar contribution to the bakery department in the West at 6 percent, down 0.1 percentage point from the prior year. The Central region earned $724 per store per week, flat from the prior year. The South was the only region to fall below national sales levels, recording $568 per store per week.
Though it is a relatively small portion of the sweetgoods category, Hispanic sweetgoods are a growing area of interest. Sales increased 2.9 percent from the prior year, but dollars more than doubled from 2005 to 2009. It will be interesting to watch whether Hispanic sweetgoods can return to the growth rates seen during those five years.
This sales review is provided by the Perishables Group, Inc., Chicago, an independent consulting firm focused on innovation and creating value for clients in the fresh food industry. Reported results are for March 6, 2010 through Feb. 26, 2011, representing more than 63 percent of national supermarket ACV share. For more information, contact Perishables Group: Kelli Beckel, 773.929.7013; e-mail: KelliB@perishablesgroup.com.