Conventional wisdom holds that COVID-19 had consumers searching for one thing above all others in 2020—and we’re not talking toilet paper.
No, it was comfort they were questing after. And judging by last year’s strong performance for comforting sweet goods like pastries, doughnuts, and muffins, that conventional wisdom was right.
But will consumers keep craving feel-good sweet goods once we exit the COVID era? Given the innovations that brands and manufacturers have waiting in the wings, the quest for comfort may continue through 2021 and beyond.
The 2020 scoop on pastries, doughnuts, and muffins merely amplifies the good-news story that’s characterized the category for some time. According to data from IRI, Chicago, the whole sector banked sales of $5.7 billion for the 52 weeks ending April 18, 2021, representing growth of 4.7 percent. Following 2019’s 3.3 percent growth and sales of $5.3 billion, that signals a category going from strength to strength.
Consider doughnuts, sales of which were up 3.5 percent on the year to $2.2 billion. The three leading manufacturers retained their top spots from the year before, with private label down 5.0 percent to sales of $524.9 million, Hostess Brands up 7.6 percent to $451.8 million and Grupo Bimbo up 9.4 percent to $389.0 million. But new to fourth place was JAB Holding, maker of Krispy Kreme, whose 14.2-percent growth and $245.3 million in receipts helped it nab the yellow ribbon from last year’s fourth finisher, McKee Foods.
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