Bakery ingredients producer Dawn Foods has commissioned a cookie survey, which has found American-style cookies are the most popular sweet treat.
Soft-eating American-style cookies are the most popular sweet treat, over brownies, muffins and pastries, according to the survey by Dawn Foods.
It found consumers were seeking out “new and interesting flavour combinations, giving bakers an opportunity to get creative with their bakes”.
The survey showed that consumers were embracing the classic, soft and chewy American-style cookie (over 80% of respondents). But it did concede that the sweet bakery sector was highly competitive, with all types of innovation vying for consumer attention.
The company said: “This is being demonstrated in the cookie category too, with new product formats and ingredient combinations taking the cookie from a mid-morning coffee snack to a breakfast option and even a base for dessert.”
As far as cookie flavour trends are concerned, the survey revealed that chocolate chip was still a fail-safe choice, as well as perceived ‘healthier’ options like dried fruit, nuts and oats.
Nearly 20% of people opted for branded chocolate pieces (such as Rolo, Mars or Smarties), a trend that was also reflected when people were asked to describe their ultimate cookie flavours. It said: “Many people described cookies that replicated popular chocolate bars through inclusions, toppings or injected sauce centres.”
Texture was also found to be important. Dr Morgaine Gaye, Dawn’s consultant food futurologist, said: “New flavour combinations have been stealing the show for many years, but now it is texture’s turn to step into the spotlight.”
Cookies with crunchy outers, velvety chocolate chunks and injected cookies with smooth centres are all textures that consumers love. Adding multiple inclusions like Maryland Mix’ems is also very popular. The successful Mix’ems contain popcorn, Smarties, candy shells, caramel and fruit jellies.
Like other items in sweet bakery, the survey found there was a ‘premiumisation’ of cookies, with many consumers opting for a cookie as a treat.
While many consumers buy pre-packed and off-the-shelf cookies from supermarkets (41%), the survey also found the majority (43%) were now bought from the fresh bakery sections of supermarkets. People were also treating themselves to cookies away from home in coffee shops and cafés, and most likely as a mid-morning (24%) or mid-afternoon (44%) snack.