You don’t need a pie chart to know that the market for baked goods including pies, pastries and desserts has more and narrower slices, thanks to booming consumer preferences and tastes. . On the one hand, the eternal desire for satisfaction and the nostalgia for tradition keep the pillars of the category on the shelves. On the other hand, the equally reliable pursuit of something different fuels the development of products that align with current trends and circumstances.
Pastries as a slice of modern life? Just maybe.
Take a dessert and eat it too
The term “indulgence allowed” has been buzzing with them in recent years, and it’s not an oxymoron: Consumers seek to balance their desire to stay within the limits of diet and health while being able to enjoy the benefits. sweets.
Health is definitely on the minds of many consumers when they examine the landscape of sugary baked goods in grocery stores. A recent Euromonitor International poll showed that about half – 50.8% – of consumers describe their diet as “healthy” or “extremely healthy”, up 7.2% from the pre-pandemic period 2019. Other research, from Mintel, shows that 69% of consumers want snacks that balance health and taste, including items in the dessert category.
Permissible indulgence, of course, means different things to different consumers. For some, being able to enjoy things like pies, pastries and desserts means having smaller portions. Downsizing desserts may involve eating smaller slices and pieces, but this also includes consuming small-sized products that offer built-in portion control and also offer a bit of the “cute factor” in merchandising. .
There are a lot of these little items in the pie, pastry, and dessert categories. Products like two-bite brownies or one-bite cream puffs have been available for years, for example.
In keeping with restaurant trends and on social media sites like Pinterest, small desserts served in jars have made their way into grocery stores. Jar Joy Desserts now offers a line of multi-layered desserts packaged in 4-ounce jars described as stackable and transportable, with a longer shelf life than traditional baked goods. Varieties include Key Lime Pie, Peanut Butter Fudge Pie, Coco Loco Caramel, and Mississippi Mud, among other cheesecake flavors. Another example comes from the British company Pots & Co., which plans to expand its reach to the United States with gourmet desserts baked in ceramic pots.
The Thomas brand, from Bimbo Bakeries USA, has its own vision of small pleasures. The brand, known for its English muffins, recently added new mini chocolate croissants presented as a possibly indulgent snack or morning meal.
In addition to branded products, in-store bakeries also offer smaller servings of gourmet desserts for shoppers who want “just a taste.” Products like mini muffins, mini cupcakes, individual pies and bite-sized brownies have long been perimeter staples.
Not content with the status quo, however, in-store bakeries are upping their game in this area. Publix Super Markets, for example, has a range of small, decadent desserts that are hand decorated every day in store; shoppers can choose from mini fresh fruit pies, petit fours and chocolate covered strawberries.
For other consumers, being allowed to enjoy sweets means purchasing products made with ingredients that are better for health or those that meet their particular dietary needs.
An example: although baked goods are known (and loved) for their inherent sweetness, a section of the population seeks to reduce their sugar intake, for medical or welfare reasons. According to the Euromonitor health survey, 37.4% of consumers said they were looking for products with little or no added sugar, a modest increase of 2% from the previous year. Low-sugar pies, pastries and desserts are nothing new, but now consumers can choose from more varieties at their local store.
Grocers who want to offer choices for shoppers on a keto diet or other low-carb diets can also add some of these types of baked goods and desserts to their assortments. The Diamond of California brand, for example, offers a line of ready-made, low-carb nut-based pie crusts, including a new chocolate and nut pie crust.
There has also been an increase in baked goods without baked goods in these categories. Shoppers on a gluten-free or restricted diet can opt for products like the Raised Gluten Free line of savory pies or gluten-free dessert bars from Ethel’s Baking Co., among several other items.
Vegan products are also encroaching on these segments. Raised Gluten Free, for its part, also offers a vegan quiche made with organic tofu and spinach. On the sweet side, the Just Desserts brand includes a vegan chocolate-coated vanilla Bundt cake, and the health food grocer Fresh Thyme Market sells its own brand of vegan pumpkin pie.