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Retail, Retail on the Shelf: Dessert Consumption Reflects Influence of Store-Bought Brands

2018 Dessert Trends - Retail Boost

48% of survey participants say they are likely to purchase desserts with ingredients from brands they purchase at retail.1

Brand-name ingredients just may be the cherry on top that tips consumer purchasing decisions in favor of certain desserts at restaurants. In fact, big brands influence restaurant patrons’ dessert purchases in a big way, as shown in the 2017 Dessert Consumer Trend Report from the global foodservice research firm Technomic.

Technomic survey results show that consumers ages 18–34 are especially brand-influenced.2 Sixty-seven percent of millennials surveyed say brand-name ingredients are a factor in what desserts they order in restaurants.2 Size matters, the data indicates, and the bigger the brand, the greater the influence on America’s largest generational group. OREO takes top honors, with 53% of millennials surveyed citing its appeal as a brand-name dessert ingredient.3

Retail or grocery stores are the top location for cookie product purchases, according to 40% of consumers surveyed, followed by homemade (35%) and bakery-fresh (25%).4 Given the high profile of cookies purchased at retail, and OREO standing as the leading brand on Top 500 dessert menus,1 it’s easy to see how cookie pieces could enhance the appeal of your restaurant’s dessert items.

Fondness for Brand-Name Flavors Helps Fuel Sales

Technomic’s 2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report reinforces the importance of brand-name ingredients in helping to drive restaurant traffic and a higher check average. The report serves up survey data showing that brand names help balance novelty and approachability in the new dessert concepts millennials yearn for.

Nearly half of millennials surveyed agreed that they were more likely to try a new or unique item if it’s made by a familiar brand.5 With 72% of all survey participants in agreement on this point to some extent,5 it makes sense for restaurants to leverage popular brand names like OREO to encourage consumers to try new dessert concepts.

Brand Beats Bland: Doing Millennials a Favor with Flavor

Millennials have a complex set of expectations when it comes to food. As Amanda Topper, food analyst for the market research firm Mintel, explained: "Compared to older generations, millennials exhibit a unique set of behaviors regarding their eating and food shopping habits. They prioritize health and freshness, have a foodie mentality at home and away, and shop for food across a variety of retail channels."6

To balance better-for-you appeal and flavor fulfillment, experiment with medleys of fresh fruit and cookie crumbles. Use signage and social media to promote the brand-name ingredients you incorporate into your signature dessert concepts.

Bear in mind that despite millennial mania for better-for-you options, taste remains tops. According to the market research firm Mintel, “the top reason Americans say they snack is to treat themselves (50 percent) and more than one quarter (28 percent) agree that taste is more important than health when choosing a snack.”7 As a result, expect desserts that include ingredients from brand-name snacks known for their flavor appeal to help attract millennial snack enthusiasts.

No matter what kind of food service establishment you operate, brand-name ingredients with a large retail profile can add a fond, flavorful touch to any dessert. Visit our Culinary Center for a feast of innovative ideas on how to add our brands to the mix and enjoy more sweet success in 2018.

1 Mills, Anne and Yonke, Brett, Dessert Consumer Trend Report: Custom Webinar, Technomic, 2017, p. 27
2 Technomic, Dessert Consumer Trend Report, 2017, p. 82
3 Technomic Dessert Consumer Trend Report, 2017, p. 83
4 Technomic Dessert Consumer Trend Report, 2017, p. 58
5 Technomic, Flavor Consumer Trend Report, 2017, p. 83
6 Quigley, Mary W., Good Eats: Millennials Like Fast, Fresh and Fun, AARP, March 25, 2016
7 Mintel, Top Reason U.S. Consumers Say They Snack Is To Treat Themselves, June 13, 2017

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