- Desserts and indulgences today are shifting away from artificial flavors and high-intensity sweeteners toward natural, premium ingredients like whole fruit and high-quality chocolate.
- Price points are less of an issue, and consumers are more willing to pay more for better quality indulgences.
- Mini desserts are also increasingly common, as they serve the dual purpose of being more portable and easier for consumers to eat in one sitting, which reduces food waste and helps consumers tame their higher calorie consumption.
Abiding by clean label trends enables manufacturers to appeal to health-conscious consumers who want to indulge, but still want to feel like they are eating a healthier version of something that might otherwise be high in calories and fat. At the same time, calorie and fat gram counting is less of a concern for many consumers today, leading to consumers turning away from the once popular "diet" category of delicacies that may have contained artificial sweeteners.
As the economy rebounds, manufacturers can spring for higher-quality ingredients that come at a higher cost because consumers are more willing to pay for quality themselves. With the right pricing strategy, premium and clean label indulgences could carry a wider margin than other products in a manufacturer's portfolio.
Mini portions of desserts, like mini cans of soda, are another way to simultaneously boost profitability and meet consumers' demands for smaller serving sizes of indulgent products. Mini desserts also offer convenience by being more portable, as manufacturers strive to make their products more mobile to suit active lifestyles.
Earlier this month, Pinnacle received an innovation award from the Grocery Manufacturers Association for its Duncan Hines Perfect Size line of smaller-portion cake mixes, complete with cake pan and icing. The product answers consumers' calls for convenience and the opportunity to not waste uneaten food.