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As consumers look for grab-and-go options for the morning commute, muffins would seem to be the perfect blend of nutrition and convenience.
But the national average of muffin contribution to the total in-store bakery was 4.3 percent in the 52 weeks ending Jan. 30, 2010, down 0.01 percent from the previous year. Muffins averaged $410 per store per week nationally, a 0.3 percent decrease from the previous year. The category has seen success in recent years, though, with a 3.8 percent increase in average dollar sales from 2004 through 2008.
The muffin category includes regular muffins, gourmet/jumbo muffins, mini muffins and muffin tops/crowns. The category saw its highest national sales the week of Aug. 8, 2009, with $478 dollars per store per week and 13.6 percent growth from the previous year. This peak in sales coincided with a substantial national muffin promotion. Another significant peak week for muffins was the week of June 6, 2009, when dollar sales averaged $445 per week per store, a 4.2 percent jump from that week the previous year. The category had its lowest sales per week per store during the first week in January, with a national average of $326.
Average muffin category weekly dollar sales varied by region compared to the previous year. The East region had the highest average dollar sales with $948 per store per week, more than double the national average. The East region also had the largest muffin dollar contribution to the department at 6.8 percent. Among the breakfast categories, the East region typically sells more muffins compared to other regions, whereas Central region consumers tend to purchase more donuts than other regions.
The Central region's weekly muffin sales of $357 per store represented the largest increase in sales — up 3.8 percent — of any region. The South region, traditionally stronger in breakfast sweetgoods, had the largest decrease in muffin sales, down 3.6 percent from the previous year. Muffin dollar contribution to total bakery department sales also fell in the South, down 0.1 percent to 3.3 percent contribution.
Within the muffin category, regular muffins accounted for 52.2 percent of category sales nationally, followed by gourmet/jumbo muffins at 32.9 percent. The smaller subcategory contributions included mini muffins at 14 percent of sales and muffin tops/crowns at 0.9 percent.
Perhaps due to economic considerations, consumers shifted slightly away from specialty muffins in the gourmet/jumbo and mini categories in favor of regular muffins. During the previous 52-week period, regular muffins held 50.8 percent of the muffin market, while gourmet/jumbo and mini muffin categories held 33.6 percent and 15.3 percent, respectively.
A growing subcategory is muffin tops/crowns, which appeals to consumers looking for smaller portion sizes. Regionally, muffin tops/crowns had the most success in the Central and East. In the East region, muffin tops/crowns had their largest average dollar sales of $16 and 8.8 percent growth over the previous year's sales. The greatest growth, however, occurred in the Central region, with 10.8 percent over the previous year. Nationally, muffin tops/crowns averaged $4 per store/week, small in comparison to the remaining muffin subcategories, but the subcategory has an opportunity for growth as consumers look for more convenience from breakfast foods in their supermarket.
This sales review, provided by the Perishables Group FreshFacts® powered by Nielsen, includes supermarket in-store bakery scanner data results from the 52 weeks ending Jan. 30, 2010, representing more than 62 percent of the 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.
THE IN-STORE SALES TRACKER IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY BEST BRANDS CORP.
For information and insights on increasing profitability for your muffin category, visit Best Brands Corp. at www.bestbrandscorp.com