Baking & Snack - August 2020 - 37

TRENDS
Cakes & Muffins

gimme a
Sweet baked goods find a new home as consumers' on-the-go
lifestyles move at a slower, but not always less hectic, pace.
by Dan Malovany

L

Life has become simpler yet more complicated. There's a
new grind and no great escape.
Yes, the time crunch still exists, but it's changed as increasing family and workplace demands - or searching
for a new job - take on a different dimension. At-home
consumers aren't stuck in traffic jams, tied to a train
schedule or shuffling their kids to after-school events,
but a new routine has been established since the coronavirus (COVID-19) hit North America.
"Given the changes to the economy and workforce,
consumers are more stressed now than ever before and
turning to food for comfort. Indulgent sweets are providing a momentary escape from reality for many people," observed Phil DeWester, senior director of category
marketing at Dawn Foods, Jackson, Mich. "They want
treats that are convenient, affordable and in smaller portions as they look for opportunities to reduce stress and
anxiety from always being 'on.' "
He noticed, for instance, a change in the products
that in-store bakeries offer, specifically in the stocking of smaller cakes, especially for smaller gatherings
for special occasions. Grocery cakes an eighth of the
size of a standard one saw a 12% increase in sales as the

size of celebrations shrank, according to Datassential's
"COVID-19 One Table Operator Report, May 2020."
Fortunately, a plethora of other little indulgences are
also plentiful. However, instead of running to the c-store
or waiting at the local supermarket or Starbucks drivethru, many consumers just stroll into their kitchens to
stock up on a quick muffin or snack cake.
For sweet goods producers, convenience remains a
strong trend that's evolving in ways that reflect consumer behavior now and, more than likely, in the long run.
"Since closing the economy, snack cakes saw an increase in sales and a spike in e-commerce - due to
people being at home more, dining out less, schools being closed and many seeking comfort through favorite
foods during uncertain times," said David Roach, president of the snacking/specialty business unit for Flowers
Foods, Thomasville, Ga. "Purchase patterns prove many
were shopping for immediate consumption and also for
pantry-stocking purposes."
He added that the producer of Tastykake and Mrs.
Freshley's sweet goods is seeing snack purchases begin
to stabilize. Keeping up with the changing demand has
kept even the nimblest of bakers busy.

Muffin sales remain robust
despite the myriad of
changes that have occured
in the overall market.
┬ędavid_franklin - stock.adobe.com

www.bakingbusiness.com / August 2020 Baking & Snack 37


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Baking & Snack - August 2020

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