The willingness to occasionally indulge often coexists with healthy diet plans.

It’s the most wonderful time of year – for eating some rich and satisfying foods. While resolutions to eat healthy accordingly ramp back up after the New Year, consumers do eat out of both sides of their mouths, as the saying goes.


For example, in its most recent report on sweet baked goods in the US, Packaged Facts found that consumers prefer regular versions of items like snack cakes and donuts over fat-free or lower-fat versions. Packaged Facts predicts that the packaged sweet baked goods market will reach $23 billion in 2019.


Other reports underscore the coexistence of indulgence and healthy eating, and not in a pendulum swinging kind of way as in the past. The Sterling-Rice Group, Boulder, CO, just came out with its list of top food trends for 2017, and topping the list is “Wake and Cake” – eating cake for breakfast.

Another example of concurrent interest in a diet that includes better-for-you, natural and organic foods as well as the occasional indulgence comes from the UK-based Waitrose Food and Drink Report.


The recently released report, which looks ahead to 2017, cites the popularity of over-the-top milkshakes called “freakshakes,” which represents consumers’ willingness to indulge in extreme desserts.  “As people eat more healthily, the need grows for occasional extreme indulgence. Invented in Australia and celebrated on Instagram, a 'freakshake' is piled high with brownies, cream, cookie dough and marshmallows,” the report states.


Thanks to popular sites like Eater and social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, one can expect the viral aspect of occasional indulgences to continue through the holidays and into the balance of the New Year. Y-Pulse, based in New York, found that the power of food on social media is influencing food marketers seeking to capitalize on the trend of consumers ages 13-32 who post and share photos of foods or drinks.