Street food, shareable treats and premium ingredients are growth opportunities for the out-of-home desserts market, a report by chocolate specialist Barry Callebaut has revealed.

The Callebaut Dessert Report 2020, which was produced in partnership with CGA, surveyed 1,500 consumers to find out what motivated them to buy pudding out-of-home.

It found that 43% of consumers purchased a dessert, cake or pastry when eating out and that more than a third of people ate out at least once a week.

Unsurprisingly, in hotels, pubs and restaurants pudding was eaten most frequently in the evenings but Callebaut pointed to the 60% of dessert consumers visiting dessert parlours mid-afternoon.

“This provides an opportunity to offer desserts and cakes during breakfast and lunchtime service, as well as in-between meals,” the report stated.

It was launched earlier this week (27 January) at the inauguration of Barry Callebaut’s new Chocolate Academy in Banbury, Oxfordshire (pictured below). The revamped academy forms part of the company’s global network of 23 training centres, where artisans and professionals who want to improve their skills in chocolate and learn about new trends, techniques and recipes are trained. More than 60,000 participants took part in training sessions in the fiscal year 2018/2019.

Here are a few key takeaways from the report:

Motivating factors

Dessert consumption has changed, according to Callebaut, which noted sharing formats, desserts free-from allergens and sweet and savoury combinations as key drivers.

“These options are all in growth, proving that choice is crucial,” it stated. “Consumers are significantly more likely to opt for dessert when qualities such as sustainability and ethical sourcing of ingredients, premium-quality ingredients and better-for-you health properties are highlighted.”

Nearly half (46%) of 24- to 34-year-olds were more likely to choose a pudding made with sustainably sourced ingredients while a third (35%) were interested in lower-sugar options.

Street eats

Street food was one of the emerging trends highlighted by Callebaut’s report.

“With the trend for street food markets growing across the UK out-of-home market, there is a real opportunity for these operators to strengthen their dessert offering,” it stated.

“Currently desserts do not feature in the top three courses consumers order from a street food market. However, more than a fifth (23%) of dessert consumers have visited a street food stall in the past six months, proving there is a real opportunity for additional spend.”

Hand-held treats would work in this arena, believed Callebaut, as well as tapas-style small plates.

Sharing the action

Sharing is caring, at least when it comes to dessert, as nine out of 10 participants in Callebaut’s survey would choose to order a sharing dessert.

And, more than a third (34%) said they would be more likely to order a dessert if it came in a shareable size – an opinion that increased to 44% of respondents aged 18- to 24-years-old.

Some of the top reasons for this behaviour included eating a smaller portion, to enjoy the experience of sharing a dessert with family or friends and to try a number of different, smaller desserts.

Barriers to dessert sales

The report also investigated the barriers to ordering desserts, cakes or pastries for those who often rejected them. These ‘dessert rejectors’ could be tempted, according to Callebaut, by lower-priced treats or lighter options as the price, sugar, fat and calorie content were cited among the top reasons for not purchasing a pudding.

Notably, 65% of consumers who would not usually purchase a dessert could be tempted by a high-quality chocolate beverage, so adding them to menus could help operators increase meal spend.

To find out more about the flavours, formats and health trends set to play out in the bakery market over the next 12 months and beyond, download our free Bakery Trends Report 2020.