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Desserts - UK - April 2019

Covered in this report

This report covers the UK retail market for chilled, ambient and frozen desserts. It excludes sales through foodservice establishments.

  • Chilled desserts include all types of chilled desserts such as dairy-based desserts, chilled custard, fruit compote, mousse, panna cotta, rice pudding pots and (prepared) puddings.
  • Ambient desserts include dessert ingredients (eg sweet condensed milk, evaporated milk, custard, jelly, ice cream accompaniments, tinned fruit, fruit fillings); dessert ready mixes (eg mousse, blancmange, toppings); ready-to-eat desserts (eg RTE custard, RTE jelly, rice pudding, sponge pudding, fruit pots); and ready-to-eat dessert bases.
  • Frozen desserts include for example frozen cakes, sponge puddings, cheesecake, gateaux, Pavlova and traditional puddings as well as frozen fruit.
  • Dessert toppings include dessert sauces, topping syrups, coulis and hot fudge sauce.
  • Shelf-stable cakes and Christmas puddings are excluded.

“Desserts face competition from an array of other foods for the traditional after main course occasion, emphasising the need for continuing innovation. Traditional desserts with new flavour twists and desserts from other countries are untapped opportunities, while being extra-indulgent, visually appealing and offering flavours not currently on offer play a key role in giving products standout and added value.”
– Richard Caines, Senior Food & Drink Analyst

This report will cover the following areas:

  • Healthier desserts and smaller single-serve products offer ways of boosting usage frequency
  • Differentiation is needed to attract people away from dessert alternatives
  • Indulgent ingredients and visual appeal are the best ways for desserts to add value

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Sales of desserts flat by value in 2018
              • Inflation and premium desserts will drive low value growth
                • Figure 1: Forecast of UK value sales of desserts, 2013-23
              • Sales of frozen desserts grow
                • Figure 2: UK value sales of desserts, by segment, 2013-18
              • Sugar and calories remain in the spotlight
                • Decline projected in number of core younger users
                  • Companies and brands
                    • Chilled desserts dominated by own-label
                      • Figure 3: Leading brands’ shares in the UK chilled desserts retail market, by value, 2018/19*
                    • Bigger branded presence in ambient desserts
                      • Figure 4: Leading brands’ shares in the UK ambient desserts retail market, by value, 2018/19*
                    • Premium and indulgence claims are a big focus in desserts
                      • Gluten-free and vegan claims increase
                        • The consumer
                          • Desserts face competition for the traditional occasion
                            • Vast majority eat desserts but not very frequently
                              • Figure 5: Frequency of eating desserts in the last 3 months, by type, February 2019
                            • Strong demand for traditional treats with a twist
                              • Healthier desserts pose a big challenge
                                • Figure 6: Interest in dessert products, February 2019
                              • Strong interest in personalisation/customisation
                                • Figure 7: Behaviours relating to desserts, February 2019
                              • Majority of people will pay more for indulgent desserts
                                • Visual appeal and unique flavours give standout
                                  • Figure 8: Attributes that make a dessert worth paying more for, February 2019
                                • Shop-bought desserts highly acceptable for guests
                                  • Figure 9: Attitudes towards desserts, February 2019
                                • What we think
                                • Issues and Insights

                                  • Healthier desserts and smaller single-serve products offer ways of boosting usage frequency
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • Differentiation is needed to attract people away from dessert alternatives
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • Indulgent ingredients and visual appeal are the best ways for desserts to add value
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Sales of desserts flat by value in 2018
                                                      • Health concerns and competition will hold back growth
                                                        • Inflation and premium desserts will drive low value growth
                                                          • Sales of frozen desserts grow
                                                            • Sugar and calories remain in the spotlight
                                                              • The accepted role of treats supports dessert sales
                                                                • Competition from home-made desserts and other treats
                                                                  • Brexit uncertainties make price trends difficult to predict
                                                                    • Risk of higher inflation putting a squeeze on spending
                                                                      • Decline projected in number of core younger users
                                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                        • Sales of desserts flat by value in 2018
                                                                          • Figure 10: UK value and volume retail sales of desserts, 2013-23
                                                                        • The future
                                                                            • Figure 11: Forecast of UK value sales of desserts, 2013-23
                                                                            • Figure 12: Forecast of UK volume sales of desserts, 2013-23
                                                                          • Forecast methodology
                                                                          • Market Segmentation

                                                                            • Sales of frozen desserts grow
                                                                              • Figure 13: UK value and volume sales of desserts, by segment, 2013-18
                                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                                            • Sugar and calories remain in the spotlight
                                                                              • The accepted role of treats in a balanced diet supports sales of desserts
                                                                                • Competition from home-made desserts and other treats
                                                                                  • Figure 14: Agreement with statement “I often make home-made desserts”, by age, February 2019
                                                                                • Brexit uncertainties make price trends difficult to predict
                                                                                  • Decline projected in number of core younger users
                                                                                    • Figure 15: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2013-23
                                                                                • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                  • Chilled desserts dominated by own-label
                                                                                    • Own-label drives growth in frozen desserts
                                                                                      • Chilled desserts see most NPD activity
                                                                                        • Premium and indulgence claims are a big focus in desserts
                                                                                          • New flavour twists for traditional desserts
                                                                                            • Gluten-free and vegan claims increase
                                                                                              • L/N/R sugar or fat claims a rarity
                                                                                                • Few desserts meet 100-calorie threshold
                                                                                                  • Decline in spending on advertising desserts
                                                                                                    • Ambrosia the most trusted brand
                                                                                                    • Market Share

                                                                                                      • Chilled desserts dominated by own-label
                                                                                                        • Figure 16: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK chilled desserts retail market, by value and volume, 2017/18-2018/19
                                                                                                      • Little change in sales of ambient desserts
                                                                                                        • Figure 17: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK ambient desserts retail market, by value and volume 2017/18-2018/19
                                                                                                      • Own-label drives growth in frozen desserts
                                                                                                        • Figure 18: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK frozen desserts retail market, by value and volume 2017/18-2018/19
                                                                                                    • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                      • Chilled desserts continue to see the most NPD activity
                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Percentage share of new product launches in the UK desserts market, by segment, 2014-18
                                                                                                      • Premium and indulgence claims are a big focus in desserts
                                                                                                        • Christmas show-stoppers use festive designs
                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Examples of own-label dessert launches for Christmas, 2018
                                                                                                        • Indulgent ingredients are a big theme for desserts
                                                                                                          • Figure 21: Examples of premium own-label dessert launches with an emphasis on indulgence, 2018
                                                                                                        • Indulgence in single-serve desserts
                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Examples of single-serve dessert launches, 2018
                                                                                                          • New flavour twists for traditional desserts
                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Examples of launches of desserts with new flavour twists, 2018
                                                                                                            • Asian desserts remain something of a rarity
                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Examples of Asian cuisines dessert launches, 2018
                                                                                                            • Gluten-free and vegan claims increase
                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Proportion of new launches in the UK desserts market making gluten free and vegan/no animal ingredients claims, 2014-18
                                                                                                            • Various specialist brands have carved a foothold in the market
                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Examples of gluten-free, dairy free and vegan dessert launches, 2018 and 2019
                                                                                                            • Vegan desserts struggle – on average – to be seen as tasty and exciting
                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Perception map of attribute performance of chilled and frozen desserts making vegan claims in comparison to other chilled and frozen desserts in the UK desserts market, April 2018-April 2019
                                                                                                              • Few examples of L/N/R sugar or fat claims
                                                                                                                • Healthier desserts warrant further attention
                                                                                                                  • Jellies spotlight their sugar credentials
                                                                                                                    • Fruit-based and free-from desserts call out sugar
                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Examples of L/N/R sugar claims in dessert launches, 2018 and 2019
                                                                                                                    • L/N/R fat claims are few and far between, few desserts meet 100-calorie threshold
                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Examples of desserts containing less than 100 calories per serving, 2018
                                                                                                                  • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                    • Continued decline in spending on desserts advertising
                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on desserts*, by sub-category, 2015-18
                                                                                                                    • Retailers account for bulk of desserts advertising
                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on desserts*, by top 10 advertisers, 2015-18
                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on desserts*, by quarter, 2018
                                                                                                                    • Brands cut back on advertising
                                                                                                                      • Christmas own-label campaigns dominate retailer spending
                                                                                                                        • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                        • Brand Research

                                                                                                                            • Brand map
                                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, March 2019
                                                                                                                            • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Key metrics for selected brands, March 2019
                                                                                                                            • Brand attitudes: Ambrosia is the most trust brand
                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Attitudes, by brand, March 2019
                                                                                                                            • Brand personality: Hartley’s, Angel Delight and Gü seen as the most fun brands
                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Brand personality – Macro image, March 2019
                                                                                                                            • Gü stands out as most indulgent and special brand
                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Brand personality – Micro image, March 2019
                                                                                                                            • Brand analysis
                                                                                                                              • Ambrosia is the most traditional and comforting brand
                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: User profile of Ambrosia, March 2019
                                                                                                                              • Gü is seen as most innovative and high-quality brand
                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: User profile of Gü, March 2019
                                                                                                                              • Aunt Bessie’s Desserts is a family brand for more than four in ten
                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: User profile of Aunt Bessie’s Desserts, March 2019
                                                                                                                              • Bonne Maman Desserts is the least used or known brand
                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: User profile of Bonne Maman Desserts, March 2019
                                                                                                                              • Müller Rice is seen more widely as healthy than others
                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: User profile of Müller Rice, March 2019
                                                                                                                              • Hartley’s Jelly is among the most fun brands
                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: User profile of Hartley’s Jelly, March 2019
                                                                                                                              • Angel Delight has highest proportion of lapsed users
                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: User profile of Angel Delight, March 2019
                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                              • Desserts face competition for the traditional occasion
                                                                                                                                • Vast majority eat desserts but not very frequently
                                                                                                                                  • Strong demand for traditional treats with a twist
                                                                                                                                    • Healthier desserts pose a big challenge
                                                                                                                                      • Strong interest in personalisation/customisation
                                                                                                                                        • Many people limit their eating of desserts
                                                                                                                                          • Majority of people will pay more for indulgent desserts
                                                                                                                                            • Visual appeal and unique flavours give standout
                                                                                                                                              • Shop-bought desserts highly acceptable for guests
                                                                                                                                                • Single-serve desserts cater well for different tastes
                                                                                                                                                • Food and Drink Typically Eaten/Drunk after the Main Course/Dish of a Meal

                                                                                                                                                  • Desserts face competition for the traditional occasion
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Food and drink typically eaten/drunk after the main course or dish of a meal, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Fruit and yogurt also compete with desserts
                                                                                                                                                    • Usage of Desserts

                                                                                                                                                      • Vast majority of people eat desserts
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Usage of different types of desserts in last 3 months, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Desserts are not eaten very frequently
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Frequency of eating desserts in the last 3 months, by type, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Interest in Products

                                                                                                                                                      • Strong demand for traditional treats with a twist
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Interest in dessert products, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Make more of love of world cuisines in desserts
                                                                                                                                                        • Healthier desserts pose a big challenge
                                                                                                                                                          • Mini desserts offer one answer for cutting calories
                                                                                                                                                          • Behaviours Relating to Desserts

                                                                                                                                                            • Strong interest in personalisation/customisation
                                                                                                                                                              • Dessert kits appeal to 40%
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Behaviours relating to desserts, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                              • Many people limit their eating of desserts
                                                                                                                                                              • Attributes Worth Paying More For

                                                                                                                                                                • Majority of people will pay more for indulgent desserts
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Attributes that make a dessert worth paying more for, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                • Quality of ingredients helps justify higher price
                                                                                                                                                                  • Visual appeal and unique flavours give standout
                                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards Desserts

                                                                                                                                                                    • Shop-bought desserts highly acceptable for guests
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Attitudes towards desserts, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                    • Taste is more important than healthiness in desserts for 59%
                                                                                                                                                                      • Single-serve desserts cater well for different tastes
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                              • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail value sales of desserts, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail volume sales of desserts, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Market Share

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK ambient desserts retail market, by value and volume 2017/18-2018/19
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK frozen desserts retail market, by value and volume 2017/18-2018/19
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK chilled desserts retail market, by value and volume 2017/18-2018/19
                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: New product launches in the UK desserts market, by claim (top 30*), 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Percentage share of new product launches in the UK desserts market, by branded vs. private label, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Percentage share of new product launches in the UK desserts market, by company, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Attribute performance of chilled and frozen desserts making vegan claims in comparison to chilled and frozen desserts not making vegan claims in the UK desserts market, April 2018-April 2019

                                                                                                                                                                              Desserts - UK - April 2019

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