Sweet Goods Adapt to Emerging Consumer Trends

Desserts Evolve with Demographics for Wider Appeal

  • 22 January 2024
Sweet Goods Adapt to Emerging Consumer Trends

United States - The sweet goods industry is evolving, tapping into the diverse needs of various demographic groups. A recent Mintel report on the U.S. In-Store Bakery (ISB) sector for 2023 reveals intriguing consumer patterns, especially among parents and younger generations.

Parents, identified as frequent and loyal customers, tend to increase their purchases of ISB treats as their children grow older.

To maintain their interest, it's crucial for ISBs to offer a mix of healthy, high-quality, and fun products, making the bakery section a go-to spot for families seeking both affordability and convenience.

Younger consumers, however, show a different engagement pattern with ISBs. Less involved than their middle-aged counterparts, they are attracted to innovation and unique experiences.

Paul Stippich from Otis Spunkmeyer notes the significance of creating "Instagramable" and authentic products to appeal to this group. A simple change in presentation, like the way brownies are baked and cut, can significantly enhance their appeal.

Seb Siethoff of Rubicon Bakers underscores the importance of authenticity and shareability among young shoppers. They seek unique, sustainable, and affordable options, often sharing their preferences online.

Rubicon Bakers meets these needs with vegan varieties of cakes and cupcakes, also boasting a certified B-Corp status for their social and environmental commitment.

Convenience stores (c-stores) also emerge as vital players in the sweet goods sector. Melissa Altobelli from Circana notes an 8% rise in c-store bakery unit sales, capitalizing on the demand for single-serve and on-the-go treats.

As consumers increasingly lean towards dashboard dining and snacking, c-stores need to offer appealing options to millennials and Gen Z shoppers, focusing on authenticity and quality.

Innovation is key to keeping the dessert sector vibrant, but brands are advised to avoid overwhelming consumers with overly complex new offerings. Instead, they should focus on 'newstalgia' – revisiting classic treats with a high-quality, modern twist.

This approach helps consumers allocate their food budget to familiar yet enhanced dessert experiences, striking a balance between novelty and tradition.

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