As more data comes in about Millennial preferences, one aspect noted by Datassential is that, compared to the rest of the country, the Millennial audience seems characterized by a preference towards sweet flavors.
In one of its “FoodBytes” reports published last Fall, it found seventeen of the top twenty dishes that skew towards Millennials are beverages and all but one are sweet.
The difference really is remarkable. For example one dish, a Banana Split Flatbread served at Bonefish Grill appealed to 79 percent of Millennials, but just 29 percent of the total U.S. population, a full 50 percentage-point gap.
Not that Millennials are the only consumer segment purchasing sweet items. The breakfast circuit also witnessed success with sweeter offerings including cinnamon swirls and cinnamon bread pull-aparts or dishes featuring peaches and sugar. And close to half of all consumers surveyed said they were likely to purchase a croissant/donut from Dunkin’s.
Formulators can take advantage of this ‘sweet tooth’ indicator for Millennials and other consumers while playing into the desire for single serve, convenience treats. Baked goods like cinnamon rolls or donuts are popular small indulgences.
Retail sales bear out the trends seen within the foodservice segment. Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) reports the revamped Hostess Donettes, a mini donut, took second place just behind Little Debbie for the 52-week period ending November 30, 2014. The category leader, McKee Foods Corp., saw its sales increase 13 percent and the overall donut category appeared healthy in 2014, with a sales increase of 10 percent overall.
General Mills recently rolled out Pillsbury™ Minis, bite-sized bakery treats in resealable packages containing four cinnamon rolls, crumb cakes or a variety of muffins. This roll-out specifically targets the C-store audience. As the company reports from IRI AllScan store data for the latest 52 weeks ending Sept. 7, 2014, breakfast items represent 64 percent of the nearly $2 billion packaged bakery category and grew five percent compared to the previous year.
In cake donuts whether full-sized or mini, egg yolks add richness and tenderness to the finished product and aid with volume and shelf life. In a mini-muffin or crumb cake bakers can rely on egg ingredients to contribute binding and supply an impressive degree of leavening action. Nothing helps a baking formulation along better than egg ingredients, for appearance, texture and mouthfeel.