2021
9
UK Desserts Market Report 2021
2021-04-09T04:11:12+01:00
OX1045247
2195
136439
[{"name":"Desserts","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/food\/desserts"}]
Report
en_GB
“COVID-19 has fuelled a sharp rise in dessert sales, bucking its previous ongoing decline. This ambient category has been the main engine room of this uptick; its nostalgic brands and…

UK Desserts Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the UK Desserts market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

70% of dessert eaters think a dessert can be both healthy and indulgent. In addition, desserts being lower in sugar would prompt over a third (36%) of less frequent dessert eaters to enjoy these treats more often. Whilst the sugar content of this category is likely to come under even more scrutiny due to the spotlight that COVID-19 has placed on the nation’s health, this openness to better-for-you variants spells good news for dessert brands to be able to develop their offering to keep consumers onside, as well as potentially boost usage frequency.

The lockdowns coming into place in January 2021 will continue to create more evening-in occasions and opportunities for desserts. This should see the momentum enjoyed by ambient desserts and chilled market leader Gü during the COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 continue.

Nevertheless, once the lockdown eases, the reliance on comfort foods and evenings ins that fuelled growth in 2020 will ebb. Consumer and government focus on health and continued competition from other segments is expected to put growing pressure on the category.

56% of those who often make homemade desserts also bought chilled desserts in the three months to December 2020. Whilst more scratch-cooking as a consequence of COVID-19 poses a threat to the market long term, this crossover demonstrates the scope for brands to win over also the scratch cooks. Dessert kits can play a role here, holding marked untapped potential. 41% of dessert eaters find kits containing ingredients needed for making desserts at home appealing, including 53% of those who often make home-made desserts.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our Food and Foodservice market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the desserts market
  • Launch activity in 2020 and opportunities for 2021
  • Factors that would prompt more frequent usage of desserts
  • Consumer behaviours and attitudes related to desserts
  • Attributes looked for in a dessert product for different occasions

Covered in this report

Brands: Gü, Müller (Cadbury, Müller Rice), Andros Foods (Bonne Maman), Premier Foods (Ambrosia), Hain Daniels (Hartley’s), General Mills (Betty Crocker), Del Monte, Nestlé (Aero, Rolo) , Mr Kipling, Lactalis (Rachels Organic), Birds, Nature’s Finest, Princes, Dole, Tate & Lyle, Associated British Foods (Treats), Rowse Honey (Buckwud), Clarks, Nomad Foods (Aunt Bessie’s), Coppenrath & Wises, Almondy.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Alice Pilkington, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

COVID-19 has fuelled a sharp rise in dessert sales, bucking its previous ongoing decline. This ambient category has been the main engine room of this uptick; its nostalgic brands and value-for-money proposition chiming well at a time of upheaval and economic uncertainty. The increased focus on health brought about by the pandemic poses a significant challenge going forward, but openness to lower-sugar desserts and a popular view that a dessert can be both healthy and indulgent signal potential for brands to navigate the war on sugar.
Alice Pilkington
UK Food and Drink Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • COVID-19: Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • Impact of COVID-19 on desserts
      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on desserts, 25 March 2021
    • The market
    • Desserts market sees uplift from COVID-19 in 2020…
    • …but will be unable to sustain growth in 2021
    • Long-term focus on health will continue to pressurise market
      • Figure 2: UK retail value sales of desserts, 2015-25
    • Ambient desserts overtake chilled desserts to become the largest segment in 2020
      • Figure 3: UK retail value sales of desserts, by segment, 2018-20
    • Companies and brands
    • 2020 sees significant boost for Gü in 2020 in chilled desserts
      • Figure 4: UK retail sales of leading brands in the chilled desserts market, by value, 2019 and 2020
    • Ambient desserts sales soar thanks to COVID-19
      • Figure 5: UK retail sales of leading brands in the ambient desserts market, by value, 2019 and 2020
    • Chilled dessert launches see considerable boost in share in 2020
    • Big brands from other categories enter desserts
    • Desserts advertising spend falls in 2020
    • The consumer
    • After-dinner occasion remains intensely competitive
      • Figure 6: Food and drink typically eaten/drunk after the main course or dish of a meal, February 2019 and December 2020
    • Desserts remain on the menu for four in five
      • Figure 7: Usage of different types of desserts in last 3 months, December 2020
    • Desserts are an infrequent choice, families are core users
      • Figure 8: Frequency of eating desserts in the last 3 months, by type, December 2020
    • Lower sugar would prompt 36% to eat desserts more often, 23% drawn to brand extensions
      • Figure 9: Factors that would prompt more frequent usage of desserts, December 2020
    • Majority say that a dessert can be both healthy and indulgent, 41% want meal pairing tips
      • Figure 10: Behaviours related to desserts, December 2020
    • Healthy versions of kids’ desserts appeal to 66% of parents, dessert kits interest 41%
      • Figure 11: Attitudes towards desserts, December 2020
    • Calorie-control is most important for desserts positioned as snacks…
    • …but no ‘one size fits all’ for snacks and everyday/weeknight desserts
      • Figure 12: Attributes looked for in a dessert product for snack and evening occasions, December 2020
    • Indulgence is the most highly sought quality for dinner parties and celebrations
      • Figure 13: Attributes looked for in a dessert product for dinner party and celebration occasions, December 2020
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Increased focus on health due to COVID-19 holds opportunities and threats
    • Majority say that a dessert can be both healthy and indulgent
    • Dessert kits hold untapped potential
    • Income squeeze could lend ongoing momentum to ambient segment
  4. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Desserts market sees uplift from COVID-19 in 2020…
    • …but will be unable to sustain growth in 2021
    • Long term focus on health will continue to pressurise market
    • Ambient desserts overtake chilled desserts to become the largest segment in 2020
    • Puddings see increase in sugar and calorie content despite government targets
    • Ageing population could prove a challenge for desserts
  5. Market Size and Forecast

    • Impact of COVID-19 on desserts
      • Figure 14: Short, medium and long term impact of COVID-19 on desserts, 25 March 2021
    • Desserts market sees uplift from COVID-19 in 2020…
      • Figure 15: UK value and volume retail sales of desserts, 2015-25 (prepared on 25 March 2021)
    • …but will be unable to sustain growth in 2021
    • Long-term focus on health will continue to put pressure on the market
      • Figure 16: UK retail value sales of desserts, 2015-25
      • Figure 17: UK retail volume sales of desserts, 2015-25
    • Market drivers and assumptions
      • Figure 18: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast, 2015-25 (prepared on 5 March 2021)
    • Learnings from the last recession
      • Figure 19: Growth in value and volume retail sales of desserts, 2008-12
    • Forecast methodology
  6. Market Segmentation

    • Mixed fortunes in the desserts market over 2015-19
    • Ambient desserts overtake chilled desserts to become the largest segment in 2020
      • Figure 20: UK value and volume sales of desserts, by segment, 2015-20
  7. Market Drivers

    • 2021 commences with new national lockdowns
    • Health of nation placed in spotlight by COVID-19
    • Pandemic spurs on new government obesity strategy…
    • …with some proposals already confirmed
    • ‘Traffic light’ labelling plays significant role in dessert decisions
    • Puddings see increase in sugar and calorie content despite government targets
    • Income squeeze could lead to ongoing boost for ambient segment
    • Ageing population could prove a challenge for desserts
      • Figure 21: Trends in UK population, by age, 2015-20 and 2020-25
  8. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • 2020 sees significant boost for Gü in 2020 in chilled desserts
    • Nostalgic brands benefit in ambient desserts
    • Chilled dessert launches see considerable boost in share in 2020
    • Brands from other categories enter desserts
    • Desserts advertising spend falls in 2020
  9. Market Share

    • 2020 sees significant boost for Gü in 2020 in chilled desserts
    • Own-label and Müller Rice lose ground
      • Figure 22: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK chilled desserts retail market, by value and volume, 2018-20
    • Ambient desserts sales soar thanks to COVID-19
      • Figure 23: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK ambient desserts retail market, by value and volume, 2017/18-2020/21
    • A strong year for toppings and syrups boosts most brands
      • Figure 24: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK syrup, treacle and dessert toppings retail market, by value and volume, 2017/18-2020/21
    • Own-label is big winner in frozen desserts
      • Figure 25: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK frozen desserts retail market, by value and volume, 2017/18-2020/21
  10. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Chilled dessert launches see considerable boost in share in 2020
      • Figure 26: Share of new product launches in the UK desserts market, by segment, 2016-20
    • 2020 sees rise in premium launches
      • Figure 27: Share of launches in the desserts market with premium and seasonal claims, 2016-20
    • Seasonal premium launches continue to focus on indulgent flavours…
      • Figure 28: Recent examples of indulgent flavours in seasonal premium launches, 2019-20
    • …and stand-out designs
      • Figure 29: Recent examples of premium eye-catching seasonal launches, 2020
    • Ambient desserts see premium NPD
      • Figure 30: Recent examples of ambient desserts with a premium positioning, 2019-20
    • Hybrid desserts continue to be explored within premium launches
      • Figure 31: Recent examples of hybrid desserts, 2020
    • Better-for-you remains strong area of innovation
      • Figure 32: Share of launches in the desserts market with selected ‘better for you’ claims, 2016-20
    • Market leader Gü enters better-for-you space in 2020…
    • …following rival Pots & Co’s entry in 2019
      • Figure 33: Gü and Pots & Co enter the better-for-you space, 2019-20
    • Alpro relaunches Dessert Moments making its 90 calories more prominent…
      • Figure 34: Alpro packaging redesign makes calorie count more prominent, 2017 and 2020
    • …whilst plant-based Zveetz gives a back-of-pack lesson on sugar
      • Figure 35: Zveetz Peanut Butter Mousse, 2021
    • Müller calls out low fat content of new protein variants
    • Vegan and plant-based claims continue to grow
      • Figure 36: Share of launches in the desserts market with vegan/no animal ingredients, dairy-free and plant-based claims, 2016-20
    • Dessert powerhouse brands enter vegan/plant-based arena for the first time…
      • Figure 37: Gü enters the vegan/plant-based dessert space, 2020
    • …whilst private label continues to expand free-from offering
      • Figure 38: Recent examples of own-label vegan/plant-based innovation, 2019-21
    • Sustainable claims continue to rise
      • Figure 39: Share of launches in the desserts market with ethical – sustainable and ethical – environmentally friendly product claims, 2016-20
    • Plastic reduction efforts are stepped up…
      • Figure 40: Tesco highlighting reducing and eliminating plastic, 2019-20
    • …whilst sustainable cocoa and charitable initiatives are also explored
      • Figure 41: Recent examples of brands calling out cocoa certifications and charitable initiatives, 2020-21
    • Big brands from other categories enter desserts
    • Ice cream brands blur category lines
      • Figure 42: Recent examples of ice cream brands entering the dessert category, 2019-20
    • Charlie Bigham’s rolls out ready-to-bake puddings, TGI Fridays partners with Iceland for exclusive range
      • Figure 43: Recent examples of Charlie Bigham’s and TGI Fridays entering the dessert category, 2020
    • Cadbury and Andros tap into health and plant-based trends
      • Figure 44: Cadbury and Andros tap into plant-based trend, 2021
  11. Advertising and Marketing Activity

    • Desserts advertising spend falls in 2020
      • Figure 45: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on desserts*, by sub-category, 2019-20
    • Premier Foods looks to cement COVID-19 boost to Ambrosia with new advert
      • Figure 46: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on desserts*, by top advertisers, 2019-20**
    • Gü references COVID-19 gestures in Christmas campaign…
    • …after encouraging fans to declare their love in early 2020
    • Müller Rice plays on comfort food angle in online adverts
    • Grocers continue to focus adspend on festive own-label offerings
    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
  12. Brand Research

    • Brand map
      • Figure 47: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, January 2021
    • Key brand metrics
      • Figure 48: Key metrics for selected brands, January 2021
    • Brand attitudes: Aunt Bessie’s leads on trust
      • Figure 49: Attitudes, by brand, January 2021
    • Brand personality: Gü scores highest for exclusivity
      • Figure 50: Brand personality – macro image, January 2021
    • Ambrosia and Aunt Bessie’s lead on comforting perceptions
      • Figure 51: Brand personality – micro image, January 2021
    • Brand analysis
    • Gü leads on indulgence
      • Figure 52: User profile of Gü, January 2021
    • Bonne Maman scores joint highest for authenticity
      • Figure 53: User profile of Bonne Maman, January 2021
    • Aunt Bessie’s has the strongest family associations
      • Figure 54: User profile of Aunt Bessie’s, January 2021
    • Ambrosia shares the lead in terms of comforting perceptions
      • Figure 55: User profile of Ambrosia, January 2021
    • Hartley’s Jelly shares the lead for being a fun brand
      • Figure 56: User profile of Hartley’s Jelly, January 2021
    • Müller Rice viewed as the healthiest brand
      • Figure 57: User profile of Müller Rice, January 2021
    • Angel Delight shares top position on fun
      • Figure 58: User profile of Angel Delight, January 2021
  13. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Focus on sugar and health intensifies due to COVID-19
    • Income squeeze will continue to fuel the evening-in occasion
    • Desserts are an infrequent choice
    • Lower sugar would prompt over a third to eat desserts more often
    • Majority say that a dessert can be both healthy and indulgent
    • Dessert kits appeal to 41%
  14. Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour

    • Focus on sugar and health intensifies due to COVID-19…
      • Figure 59: Healthy eating as a priority since the COVID-19 outbreak, 7-14 May 2020 and 4-12 February 2021
    • …but stresses of pandemic cause many to turn to treats
      • Figure 60: Changes to how often consumers have been eating treats since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, by age and gender, 23 April-7 May 2020
    • More cooking from scratch long-term holds threats and opportunities for dessert brands
    • Income squeeze will continue to fuel the evening-in occasion
  15. Food and Drink Typically Eaten/Drunk after the Main Course/Dish of a Meal

    • After-dinner occasion remains intensely competitive
      • Figure 61: Food and drink typically eaten/drunk after the main course or dish of a meal, February 2019 and December 2020
    • Hot drinks, fruit and ice cream remain top competition
  16. Usage of Desserts

    • Desserts remain on the menu for four in five
      • Figure 62: Usage of different types of desserts in last 3 months, December 2020
    • Desserts are an infrequent choice
      • Figure 63: Frequency of eating desserts in the last 3 months, by type, December 2020
    • Families report higher overall usage and more frequent usage of desserts
  17. Factors that Would Prompt More Frequent Usage of Desserts

    • Lower sugar would prompt over a third to eat desserts more often
      • Figure 64: Factors that would prompt more frequent usage of desserts, December 2020
    • A ‘less sweet’ proposition could also be explored
      • Figure 65: Recent examples of products calling out being “just sweet enough” or “not too sweet”, 2019-20
      • Figure 66: Recent examples of desserts calling out that they are sweetened with fruit sugars only, 2019-20
    • A quarter would like to see more ‘mini’ formats
      • Figure 67: Recent examples of “mini” formats in cakes, chocolate and ice cream, 2020-1
      • Figure 68: Recent examples of ‘mini’ desserts, 2018-20
    • Frozen pre-portioned ‘mini’ desserts could help brands better compete for after-dinner occasion
      • Figure 69: Pleesecakes frozen Mini Black Forest Cheesecake, 2019
      • Figure 70: Recent international examples of ‘mini’ formats in frozen desserts, 2020
    • 23% would like to see more desserts from favourite chocolate or cake brands
      • Figure 71: International examples of dessert products from premium chocolate brands, 2018-20
      • Figure 72: Mr Kipling signature collection positioning as an after dinner product, 2019-20
  18. Behaviours Related to Desserts

    • Majority say that a dessert can be both healthy and indulgent
      • Figure 73: Behaviours related to desserts, December 2020
      • Figure 74: Recent examples of light and low-calorie variants from dessert brands, 2019-20
    • Communicating indulgence of healthier treats is crucial…
    • …but success within other categories shows its potential
      • Figure 75: Recent examples of healthy indulgence in the cake and snacks categories, 2019-21
    • Nearly half of people like to assemble their own dessert from multiple elements
      • Figure 76: Recent examples of dessert and yogurt products with elements packaged in different compartments, 2020
    • Potential for dessert brands across different segments to collaborate…
    • …and utilise social media to boost engagement
    • 41% would like ideas for main meal and dessert pairings
    • High interest in world cuisines shows potential for further NPD
  19. Attitudes towards Desserts

    • Healthy versions of children’s desserts appeal to 66% of parents
      • Figure 77: Attitudes towards desserts, December 2020
    • Family-friendly brands could tap into openness to healthy innovation
      • Figure 78: Recent examples of low/reduced sugar claims in family-friendly brands, 2019
    • Dessert kits appeal to 41%
    • Angel Delight Dessert Kit’s success signals further opportunities…
      • Figure 79: Angel Delight chocolate flavour dinosaur edition dessert kit, 2020
    • …whilst international launches provide cues for NPD
      • Figure 80: Baker’s No Bake Dessert Kit S’Mores Cookie Balls Dessert Kit, 2020
      • Figure 81: Tasty Choco Mocha No Bake Dessert Kit, 2020
    • Openness towards dry dessert mixes and willingness to trade down stand to support demand during income squeeze
  20. Attributes Looked for in a Dessert Product for Different Occasions

    • Calorie-control is most important for desserts positioned as snacks…
      • Figure 82: Attributes looked for in a dessert product for snack and evening occasions, December 2020
    • …but no ‘one size fits all’ for snacks and everyday/weeknight desserts
    • Indulgence is the most highly sought quality for dinner parties and celebrations
      • Figure 83: Attributes looked for in a dessert product for dinner party and celebration occasions, December 2020
  21. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

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

    • Forecast methodology
      • Figure 84: UK retail value sales of desserts, best- and worst-case forecast, 2020-25
      • Figure 85: UK retail volume sales of desserts, best- and worst-case forecast, 2020-25

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