It is no secret that 2020 completely upended how the world thinks about celebrations, which greatly impacted the cake sector. For example, according to a Dawn Proprietary study in 2020, 65% of artisanal bakers offered individually wrapped items to meet consumer demand. Until COVID-19 is under control, Dawn believes smaller single-serve cake portions will continue to dominate the market, explains Phil DeWester, director of senior category marketing for Dawn Foods.
Another key trend for 2021 is taking classic cakes and reimaging them in indulgent ways.
“We are still in a time where many are looking for little ways to brighten their day and making cakes more indulgent is a great way to do that,” DeWester says.
This indulgence trend is particularly significant in chocolate cakes. Chocolate cake and cupcakes continue to be the top flavor among all cakes/cupcake flavors (source: Nielsen, POS Sweet Bakery), and chocolate cake is also projected to grow 2.2% over the next four years (Source: Datassential MenuTrends/Flavor, April 2020).
In 2021, chocolate cakes will be darker and richer than ever before, with bakers turning to ingredients such as black cocoa powder, activated charcoal and richer fudge.
So, what types of cakes are trending most popular?
Barrel cakes, or ultra-tall cakes with indulgent toppings, are incredibly popular. These cakes truly are everywhere right now, as bakers are making and decorating them to promote across their social media feeds.
“Cake Pizza” is a cake trend that has emerged in the United Kingdom in recent months and Dawn is already seeing reach the United States. Contrary to what the name suggests, Cake Pizza is not a pizza. Instead, bakers use a special triangle cavity silicon mold to bake individual slices of cake. Each cake slice is individually decorated and completely customizable, usually containing pops of brightly colored icings, indulgent toppings, and served with a cupcake in the middle.
For consumers, this type of cake will be an especially important trend in 2021 as it allows for individual servings and complete customization – what each significant consumer wants for the year to come. For bakers, cake pizzas are also a great investment because they can be customized to fit the new needs of each season.
As for fillings and icings, retailers can enhance their cake offerings with on-trend flavors and colors.
Fillings and icings are a great way for retailers to enhance their cake offerings, DeWester says. They help take a simple cake to a new level and make it stand out in any bakery case.
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