Sweet findings: Comax study reveals consumer attitudes towards baked goods

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13 Mar 2018 --- Comax Flavors has released new primary research on consumers’ behavior, usage and attitudes towards sweet baked products, primarily focusing on cakes, cookies, donuts, muffins and pies. The seventh study of the company’s primary market research program, named “The Sweet Baked Goods Study” was fielded in August 2017 with 1,000 US respondents aged 18-70+; half were female and the other half were male.

According to IRI, the pastry/Danish/coffee cakes segment grew by 3.5 percent to US$2.0 billion, doughnuts were up 2.7 percent to US$2.0 billion and muffin sales were up 8.3 percent to US$976.6 million for the 52 weeks ending March 19, 2017.

“Although there has been a lot of activity in better-for-you products, consumers still have a sweet tooth and crave a variety of baked goods. We wanted to better understand what’s happening in baked goods among the general population,” explains Catherine Armstrong, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Comax Flavors.

Some study highlights are listed below:
Cake findings
• “Taste” is the most important Cake attribute driving purchase intent with shy of three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents citing it.
• Almost three-quarters (74 percent) of respondents consume “Frosted/Iced” cakes while shy of half of all respondents consume “Filled” (50 percent), “Layered” (49 percent) and “Glazed” (47 percent) cakes.
• “Chocolate” is the number one flavor consumed by all generations with almost three-quarters citing it (71 percent).
• 40 percent of respondents consume “Chocolate Chip” making it the second most popular flavor among all generations.
• One third (34 percent) of respondents consume “Red Velvet.”
Cookie findings
• “Taste” is the number one driver of Cookie purchases with 84 percent of respondents citing it as the most important attribute.
• “Soft/Chewy” is the number one type of cookie preferred by all respondents with three-quarters (74 percent) citing it.
• Half or more of all respondents like “Filled/Stuffed/Sandwich” (58 percent) and “Hard/Crunchy” (52 percent) cookies.
• “Chocolate Chip” is the number one flavor consumed by all generations with 68 percent citing it.
• Half of the respondents consume “Chocolate,” making it the second most popular flavor consumed by all generations.
Donut findings
• 79 percent of respondents cite “Taste” as the most important attribute driving Donut purchase intent.
• “Glazed” is the number one flavor with 55 percent of respondents citing it.
• “Powdered Sugar” (42 percent) is the second most popular flavor while more than a quarter (29 percent) of respondents consume “Cinnamon Sugar.”
• “Chocolate” (40 percent) and “Chocolate Frosted” (38 percent) are well-liked flavors among all generations.
Muffin findings
• “Taste” is the number one driver of Muffin purchases with 63 percent of respondents citing it as the most important attribute.
• 66 percent of respondents consume “Blueberry” making it the most popular flavor among all generations.
• More than half (53 percent) of respondents consume “Chocolate Chip”; among all generations, Gen Z (71 percent), Gen Y (67 percent) and Gen X (57 percent) are the heaviest consumers compared to Baby Boomers (34 percent) and the Silent Generation (12 percent).
• “Banana” (48 percent), “Chocolate” (44 percent) and “Coffee Crumb” (42 percent) are all staple muffin flavors.
Pie findings
• “Taste” is the number one driver of Pie purchases with 70 percent of respondents citing it as the most important attribute.
• “Apple” is the number one universally consumed flavor by all generations with 68 percent citing it.
• “Cherry” (53 percent) is the second most popular flavor consumed by more than half of respondents while shy of half of the respondents (45 percent) consume “Peach.”
• More than a third of respondents consume “Pumpkin” (39 percent) and “Pecan” (34 percent).
• 37 percent of respondents equally consume “Lemon” and “Chocolate” flavors.
Generations defined: Gen Z born 1996 and later; Gen Y born 1977 to 1995; Gen X born 1965 to 1976; Baby Boomers born 1946 to 1964; Silent Generation born 1925 to 1945.

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