Sweetgoods sales were generally flat in 2008, with a few product lines standing out as shining stars, such as Hispanic sweetgoods and hot cross buns nationally, and turnovers in the East region.
The Perishables Group, a Chicago-based consulting firm to the fresh foods industry, classifies sweetgoods under its breakfast bakery super-category, which also includes muffins, bagels and donuts. The sweetgoods category includes coffee cake, sweet rolls, cinnamon rolls, pastries, flavored breads, Hispanic sweetgoods and “other.” This report includes supermarket in-store bakery data for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2008, representing more than 61 percent of national supermarket ACV share.
Sweetgoods contributed an average of 7.1 percent to total in-store bakery sales nationally, which is a 1.8 percent decrease from the previous year's contribution. Nationally, sweetgood sales averaged $650 per store per week, a 5 percent increase from the previous year.
The category saw its highest sales nationally the week of Christmas, ending Dec. 27, 2008, with sales of $811 per store, an 11.6 percent increase from the same week the previous year. Easter 2008 marked another significant week for sweet breads, in particular, when sweetgoods sales averaged $761 per store, an 18.6 percent increase over Easter 2007. The month of December 2008, ironically, also posted the lowest weekly sales for sweetgoods during the first week of that month with $605 on average per store.
Sweetgoods' weekly dollar sales grew in all regions compared to the previous year, but this increase can be attributed to in-store bakeries raising their prices in 2008 to compensate for higher ingredient and operations costs. The East region posted the highest average weekly sales with $816 per store, well above the national average. However, the sweetgoods category's contribution to total bakery sales was the smallest of the regions at 6.1 percent. This could be due to strong performance among other categories competing for the same breakfast daypart in the East, such as muffins and bagels.
The Central region surpassed the national average with $736 average weekly sweetgoods sales per store and a contribution to the department of 7.4 percent, unchanged from the previous year. The South region had the lowest weekly sales, $549 per store, which was a 5.3 percent increase over the previous year. Within the sweetgoods category, “other” sweetgoods accounted for 27.6 percent of category sales nationally, followed by coffee cake at 21.6 percent.
The “other” sweetgoods subcategory includes items such as hot cross buns, scones, strudel, turnovers and rugalach. Nationally, the largest segment within the “other” subcategory was hot cross buns, the spiced bun with raisins traditionally consumed around the Easter holiday. Turnovers proved popular in the East region, which registered a 14.3 percent growth in the segment over the previous year.
Another growing subcategory, Hispanic sweetgoods contributed about 3 percent to bakery sales nationally. While their contribution percentage is the smallest of the subcategories, Hispanic sweetgoods have proven staying power as a category and show no signs of slowing. Products include empanadas, concha, pan de leche, buñuelos and other Hispanic sweetgoods. Within all regions, except for Central, Hispanic sweetgoods grew compared to the previous year. In the East region, this subcategory demonstrated the most growth with sales 57.7 percent above the previous year. Surprisingly, the West, which the U.S. Census Bureau reports having the largest Hispanic population of any region, posted the smallest growth of 5.7 percent.
For more information, contact the Perishables Group's Kelli Beckel by phone: 773/929-7013, or e-mail: KelliB@perishablesgroup.com.