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FoodInsight: Satisfying the Sweet Tooth


While plant-based and healthy eating trends are continuing to innovate, consumers have shown no signs of losing their sweet tooth. While only one in five consumers say they eat dessert daily, according to Datassential’s 2021 Dessert Keynote report, more than half of those surveyed said they’d had a dessert within the past day.

From indulgent, rich confections to playful frozen treats, desserts are continually growing, with trends related to nostalgia and portability being particularly strong. Nostalgic themes have been growing for several years and are becoming increasingly layered across generations.

When utilizing Datassential’s FLAVOR tool, older consumers index high in terms of affinity for classic desserts such as cherries jubilee, pineapple upside down cake, and fruit cobbler. Generation Z consumers, on the other hand, have their own nostalgic notions when it comes to desserts, albeit they tend to be more recent trends. Desserts with such flavors as Nutella, cotton candy, sour apple and Funfetti index high with younger consumers — flavors that may be nostalgic to them from their more-recent childhoods.

For operators with an eye toward convenience, handhelds are a must for desserts. From cookies and brownies to cupcakes and ice cream, handhelds are top-selling items and also have the highest margins. In fact, 60 percent of operators say desserts that require less prep and that are eaten on the go help drive profit, according to the Datassential Dessert Keynote.

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