Cheesecake sales are down slightly this year compared to last, but the popular dessert is showing greater sales spikes during traditional busy times of the year. This may indicate that customers perceive cheesecakes as more of a holiday treat than a year-round dessert.
The desserts category is the largest super-category in the bakery department, generating 46.5 percent of total sales, according to the Perishables Group. The Chicago-based independent consulting firm compiles scanner data from grocery stores nationwide, representing 62.1 percent of national supermarket ACV share. Results in this report are for data collected May 27, 2007 through May 24, 2008.
Among dessert sales, cakes represented the largest portion with 62 percent of sales. Overall, dessert sales grew 6.1 percent during this 52 weeks compared to the same time frame a year ago. Total cakes saw a dollar sales growth of 7.3 percent and gained 0.3 percentage points in total desserts dollar share.
The cheesecake subcategory generated 5.8 percent of total cake sales. Cheesecake dollar sales fell slightly by 0.1 percent, which led to a loss of 0.4 percentage point dollar share compared to the previous year. Cheesecakes contributed to 1.7 percent of overall bakery department sales during this time period, down slightly from 1.8 percent for the same period a year ago. Nationally, sales for cheesecakes averaged $151 in weekly store sales, which slightly decreased by 0.1 percent from the previous 52-week period.
New varieties abound
Assorted/variety cheesecakes is the largest segment within cheesecakes with 33.9 percent of dollar sales, followed by plain at 22.3 percent, other at 21.2 percent, strawberry at 11.7 percent and other fruit at 10.9 percent. In-store bakeries are broadening their cheesecake selection with non-traditional fruit varieties, and customers seem to be responding. The “other fruit” category is the only cheesecake category that is up in sales this year over last.
The East was the only region to increase cheesecake sales contribution to bakery department sales. The Central region had the lowest average weekly sales per store with $126 and registered the greatest percentage loss from the previous year with 9.7 percent. Conversely, the East region brought in the highest average weekly dollars per store with $199 and grew cheesecake sales by 9.1 percent over the previous year.
Sales of cheesecakes peaked at $352 the last week of December coinciding with the Christmas and New Year's holidays. This year's peak sales week shows a significant increase over the same peak holiday week last year ($284). The category hit an annual low the second week in January averaging $115 per week per store as many consumers were likely beginning their health-focused New Year's resolutions.
For more information about this report or the Perishables Group, e-mail Kelli Beckel at KelliB@perishablesgroup.com.