CHICAGO — A recent survey from DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences showcased several markets worth targeting to increase sales of sweet baked goods. They include evening snacking, meal replacement, vegetarians and vegans, and nutritional claims like protein and free of preservatives. Nick Ferraro, North American leader for bakery and dairy for DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences, a DuPont business, gave details of the survey on March 2 at the American Society of Baking’s BakingTech in Chicago.
Among the survey of 350 people in St. Louis, 80% were women and 68% were of the ages 36 to 65.
“Primary shoppers were really important,” Mr. Ferraro said.
They were asked questions about in-store bakery items. Pre-packaged and branded items were excluded.
When asked some of the reasons why they purchased sweet goods, 78% said for a treat, 63% said for a special occasion and 62% said for a snack. While 16% said for a meal, Mr. Ferraro found that percentage significant.
“I think that’s a pretty big deal,” he said. “They are coming in to replace either a meal at lunch or it’s a breakfast-type item. They want to eat something while they are going to work.”
When asked the times they typically consumed sweet goods, evening snack was the top answer at 64%. Breakfast came in second at 49%.
Mr. Ferraro said companies could think about increasing their number of sweet goods options for vegans and vegetarians.
“That is actually a huge market that is being underserved right now,” he said. “So a lot of people are looking at the sweet goods market, but they are vegan; they are vegetarian. Those two eating lifestyles are growing. They are bigger than what we would expect that to be. There are a huge chunk of them that are looking toward sweet goods.”
The survey asked all respondents what their deciding factor was when purchasing sweet goods. Taste reigned at 89%.
“At the end of the day, it’s still sweet goods,” Mr. Ferraro said.
More than half (53%) said food claims are important, though. The survey asked people to rank six claims in order of importance. More than 30% gave high protein the top ranking, which was followed by no additives at just under 30% and high fiber at over 20%.
Plant protein and probiotics are other marketing opportunities. When asked whether they would be more likely to purchase a sweet good with plant protein, 56% said yes. The percentage was 49% for probiotics.