SOURCE: Packaged Facts

Packaged Facts

March 08, 2010 10:13 ET

Confection & Dessert Trends Create New Sweetscapes for American Consumers

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 8, 2010) -  America's sweet tooth has become more sophisticated and demanding as consumers seek comfort and delight in today's confections and desserts. This love of sweets is steering consumers toward an exciting new sweetscape where flavor complexity, artisanship and nostalgia mingle to create increasingly grown-up, yet still satisfying, treats, according to Confections and Dessert: Culinary Trend Mapping Report from the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) and Packaged Facts.

"It's time for marketers to notice that consumers are demanding sweets that are as trend-forward, satisfying and as adventurous as the savory foods they love. Butterscotch Toffee Whoopie Pies are more exciting than plain chocolate and vanilla ones," says CCD CEO Kimberly Egan.

New sweet drivers. Four overarching consumer trends are driving innovative shifts in the sweets market:

  • Nostalgia - Americans seek comfort in the sweets of childhood, yet still want treats that reflect current interest in bold flavor profiles and higher quality ingredients.
  • Indulgence - Americans need a break and are indulging in exciting -- and affordable -- new sweets to provide escape, reward and just plain delight.
  • Flavor Adventure - Plain old vanilla and chocolate aren't enough these days. Savvy consumers from Generation Y to Boomers are seeking excitement from sweets that reflect a global palate of exotic and varietal fruits, savory-sweet flavor profiles, and other adventurous tastes. Aged organic Papua New Guinea vanilla ice cream, anyone?
  • Artisan Appeal - Sweet treats that are hand-made with well-chosen ingredients and reflect current values in local and sustainable production are winning over more and more Americans -- and now extend to sweets.

The New American Sweetscape. New and updated confections and desserts create a new sweet vista for consumers. Olive Oil Desserts show off Mediterranean ingredients in more health-friendly forms while offering intriguing new savory-sweet flavors. Parisian Macarons, pastel-colored ground almond meringue sandwich cookies, bring classic French sophistication to the modern American pastry counter. Japanese Sweets transport savvy candy lovers to new frontiers of exotic flavor and texture while American-crafted Micro-batch Chocolate epitomizes the new range of artisan foods that also exhibit a taste of place.

Familiar Favorites Get a Remodel. Americans grew up on salty-sweet Cracker Jack but are ready for something more 21st century. In updated Salty Sweets, bacon, sea salt and savory herbs raise familiar sweets to new adventurous and satisfying heights. Americans from the Northeast no doubt grew up on the stalwart chocolate cake and vanilla cream Whoopie Pie; today, the homey snack appears coast to coast in alluring flavors and colors giving cupcakes some competition. The familiar warm, brown flavor of Caramel has gone glam in the form of homemade butterscotch used in puddings and sauces, Latin-inspired dulce de leche and a candy-box-full of retro confections, like honeycomb, toffee and brittle, that appear as candy bar and ice cream inclusions, dessert garnish and artisan sweets at farmers markets and boutique candy shops.

The report highlights strategic opportunities for both manufacturers and restaurant operators in this exciting new sweet landscape.

For more information on Confections and Dessert: Culinary Trend Mapping Report, please visit

The Culinary Trend Mapping Report is co-published by the Center for Culinary Development and Packaged Facts. Individual issues and annual subscriptions are available at

About the Center for Culinary Development - CCD is a full-service food and beverage strategic innovation company that successfully blends culinary creativity with consumer insights, trends and marketing expertise. Visit, or contact Kara Nielsen at (415) 693-8900 x110,

About Packaged Facts - Packaged Facts, a division of, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. To learn more, visit: Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Contact Information