Cakes are a growing category, with increasing sales in each of the past five years.
Cakes are a growing category, with increasing sales in each of the past five years. As cakes are a strong occasion-based food, the challenge for retailers is to remind shoppers that cakes also can serve as everyday desserts.
In the 52 weeks ending Oct. 30, 2010, the national average cake contribution to the in-store bakery was 28.7 percent, a slight increase from the previous year. The cake category includes decorated cakes, dessert cakes, cupcakes, crème or pudding cakes, snack cakes, ice cream cakes, individual desserts, cheesecakes, tortes, specialty dessert cakes, mousse cakes and wedding cakes. Nationally, cakes averaged $2,806 per store per week, a 1.8 percent increase from the previous year.
The category saw its greatest sales the week of May 15, 2010, with $3,935 per store per week and 5.6 percent growth from the previous year. This peak in sales is typical for the category, as it coincides with Mother’s Day and graduation season. Another significant peak for cake sales was the week ending June 5, 2010, when cakes averaged dollar sales of $3,378 per week per store, giving the category 10.8 percent growth compared to the previous year. Cakes saw their lowest sales the first week in December with $2,083. This week is traditionally low, as it follows the Thanksgiving holiday, during which pies control the bakery department.
Average weekly dollar sales for the cake category grew in the majority of U.S. regions compared to the previous year. The East region had the highest average dollar sales with $3,187 per store per week, well above the national average. Still, the East was the only region not to exhibit growth in the cake category. The Central region surpassed the national average with $2,939 in weekly dollar sales per store and a 28.0 percent contribution to department. With the largest contribution to the department at 33 percent, the South region had weekly sales of $2,605 per store, a 2.2 percent increase over the previous year. The West region had the largest percentage increase in cake sales of 2.6 percent from the previous year. Cake sales in the West accounted for 28.8 percent of the bakery department, up from 28.6 percent last year.
Within the cake category, decorated cakes accounted for 32.9 percent of sales nationally for the latest year, followed by dessert cakes at 17.1 percent contribution. The smaller category contributions included cupcakes (10.6 percent), up a whole percentage point over last year (9.8 percent) and nearly two over the prior year (8.9 percent). Crème or pudding cakes (8.4 percent), snack cakes (7.3 percent), ice cream cakes (7.1 percent), individual desserts (6.7 percent), cheesecakes (6.1 percent) and specialty dessert cakes (1.8 percent) rounded out the category. Collectively, tortes, mousse cakes and wedding cakes accounted for 2 percent of average weekly dollar sales.
Even though they are a relatively small portion of the cake category, wedding cakes are a growing subcategory. The national average sales of wedding cakes increased 21.9 percent compared to a year ago. Wedding cakes had their largest growth in the West region, up 141 percent compared to the previous year. In the East region, wedding cakes had the second largest average dollar growth at 27.6 percent above the previous year’s sales. Though wedding cake sales dropped 1.5 and 8.4 percent in the Central and South regions respectively, the are growing nationally in supermarket in-store bakeries as consumers are try to plan weddings on a budget and in-store abkeries are making greater committments to quality.
This sales review, provided by the Perishables Group FreshFacts® powered by Nielsen, includes supermarket in-store bakery scanner data results from Nov. 7, 2009, through Oct. 30, 2010, representing more than 63 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.