More Consumers Digging Into Desserts

Consumers are slowly shifting away from the traditional view of dessert as a post-meal occasion and are increasingly defining dessert as an anytime occasion, according to Technomic’s recently released 2017 Dessert Consumer Trend Report. Planned dessert occasions are also on the rise, and 18- to 34-year-olds are increasingly likely to visit specific restaurants for a meal because of a dessert they offer.
“Greater opportunity exists to drive off-peak traffic by positioning desserts as craveable, stand-alone occasions throughout the day or by emphasizing the snackable nature of top desserts like fruit, cookies, brownies and ice cream,” said Kelly Weikel, director of consumer insights at Technomic. The report compiles findings from more than 1,500 consumers as well as Technomic’s MenuMonitor and Digital Resource Library.

  • 32% of consumers eat dessert after a meal at least twice a week
  • 46% of consumers’ dessert occasions are planned (rather than impulse)
  • 48% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for desserts that are made from scratch
Photos courtesy Florence Pie Bar. Apple pie (top), blueberry ginger pie pictured here.

Bakeries should be pleased to hear consumers are willing to pay more for scratch-made products. The quality and comfort of great baking is spurring growth of many product lines, including pies. NPR recently reported on the pie bar trend growing in cities like New York and Seattle.

“The recent proliferation of pie-centric eateries across America is proof that pie bars are having a culinary moment. But instead of mass-produced apple pie and other traditional flavors, this entrepreneurial generation of bakers make pie like mom used to make, but without the Crisco or Cool Whip,” writes Jean Fain in the NPR article. “With fresh, seasonal ingredients and creative flavor combinations, they’re baking a wide assortment of traditional and innovative pies, like [Florence Pie Bar, Florence, MA] Maura Glennon’s blackberry ginger (a lemony mix of whole berries and crystalized ginger in an all-butter crust) and salted chocolate bites (an ethereal fudge mini-pie in a graham-cracker crust).”