Comfort Foods Drive Consumer Wish List

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Sure, sweating those calories at the gym is great and all, especially as an unchecked box on the typical New Year’s Resolution list, but doesn’t stuffing your face with delectable baked goods sound more appealing?

But, customers aren’t picturing gaining 20 pounds on the couch, crying the New Year away ala Bridget Jones; they know that there’s a bright side to baking sweet goods. The display-worthy presentation, the flavor combinations and the fresh out of the oven smell heightens senses and brings comfort that’s one of the top food trends heading into 2022.

Technavio predicts that the global bakery market will grow by $116.14 billion by 2024, and Comax Flavors researched what consumers are looking for in cakes, cookies, donuts, muffins, pies, cupcakes and brownies.

Catherine Armstrong, vice president of corporate communications for Comax Flavors, told Bake Magazine, “Americans have an infinity for sweets. Traditionally, baked goods connote comfort and joy and frequently conjure warm childhood memories. The pandemic has accelerated consumers’ desire for sweet baked goods.”

Here’s some of the sweet findings from Comax’s study:

  • Chocolate is the most popular cake flavor among all generations (55%)
  • Frosted/iced is the No. 1 type of cupcake among all respondents (73%)
  • 42% cited consuming red velvet cupcakes, hot on the heels of traditional chocolate and vanilla

Bake Magazine also shared a One Poll and Farm Rich study, which said that two in three Americans have consumed more comfort food since the start of the pandemic, which may come as no surprise. However, that conversion may be here to stay — a whopping 69% said they’re riding the comfort food wave past the pandemic. “Sweet Decadence” was cited as a top 4 flavor trend by Comax, with Cannoli Donut and Salted Caramel Brownie Cupcake as preliminary comfort purchases heading into the New Year.

What are your customers craving? We’d love to see what your bakery is comforting Americans with during the holiday season and beyond. Don’t forget to tag @LloydPans!

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