Specialty dessert sales in in-store bakeries increased during the 52 weeks ending July 28, 2012.
As the portion-controlled dessert trend continues, the role of specialty desserts has become increasingly important within the bakery. Smaller, single-serve items, such as mini tarts, éclairs and cannoli, offer consumers the ability to indulge without spending more on larger bakery items, such as cakes and pies. As a result of their rising appeal, specialty dessert sales in in-store bakeries increased during the 52 weeks ending July 28, 2012. Nationally, the category averaged weekly sales of $148 per store, a gain of 5.3 percent.
Specialty desserts accounted for 1.4 percent of in-store bakery sales, a 0.1 percent increase from the previous year. The category includes tarts, éclairs, dipped/covered fruits, baklava, cannoli, cream puffs, fudge, cobblers/crisps, custards/puddings, Napoleans, dumplings, assorted/variety dessert trays, and other miscellaneous desserts.
Specialty desserts posted peak dollar sales during holiday weeks. The week ending Feb. 18, 2012, posted the highest sales at $511 per store for the week, driven by the Valentine’s Day holiday. The week of Thanksgiving posted sales of $236 per store while the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s had sales of $345 and $216 per store, respectively. The week ending July 28, 2012, was the lowest selling week, with average sales of $103 per store. Overall, the entire month of July averaged only $115 per store per week.
Regionally, specialty desserts sales varied. The East and West regions outperformed the national average, selling $220 and $161 per store per week, respectively. Both regions’ average weekly sales increased compared to the previous year, with weekly dollar sales per store rising 1.2 percent in the East region and an impressive 11.8 percent in the West region. The West’s strong growth came from numerous sub-categories, however, the majority of the gains came from a 6.8 percent increase in tarts and a 263.4 percent jump in dipped/covered fruits’ average weekly dollar sales. The Central and South regions both had solid average weekly dollar growth, increasing dollars by 4.4 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.
Within the specialty dessert category, tarts, éclairs and dipped/covered fruit made up 61.1 percent of dollar sales. Compared to the prior year, tarts’ average weekly dollar sales increased 4.7 percent and dipped/covered fruits rose an impressive 92.8 percent. Conversely, éclairs’ average weekly dollar sales decreased 6.5 percent and declined in all four U.S. regions. Cannoli and cream puffs, which account for 11.4 percent of category sales, also experienced declines in average weekly dollar sales, dropping 10.1 and 5.2 percent, respectively.
Baklava increased average weekly sales 12.9 percent with especially strong performance from the East and South regions. Fudge also experienced strong results, improving average weekly dollars 21.3 percent.
Cobblers/crisps, custards/puddings, assorted variety dessert trays, Napoleans, dumplings, and trifles, which together contribute 8.9 percent to the specialty dessert category, collectively reduced average weekly dollar sales by 7.2 percent.
This sales review is provided by Nielsen Perishables Group. Based in Chicago, Nielsen Perishables Group specializes in measurement, analytics, marketing communications, category development, promotional best practices and shopper insights. Reported results are for July 30, 2011, through July 28, 2012. Results were compiled from key U.S. grocery, mass/supercenter and club chains, including 17,000 stores nationwide. For more information, contact Nielsen Perishables Group: Kelli Beckel, 773/929-7013; email: Kelli.Beckel@nielsen.com