Sales of WeightWatchers cakes grew by 38.1% in the year to July 2005, according to TNS figures, says Anthony Alan Foods (Barnsley, Yorkshire), which supplies the cakes under licence.

UK sales director Mark Rooza says: “NPD is at the heart of the sales success. We’ve developed techniques to produce what health-conscious consumers want: cakes that are as good as the best, but are lower in fat and lower in calories.”

Growth in the healthy cake category is in stark contrast to the total cake category, he adds.

“The total cake market only grew by 3.9% last year. Our figures suggest manufacturers that adapt to the market’s demands can generate new business. Consumers want cakes, but they want them to be healthier.”

Total sales for low-fat cakes also bucked the trend, growing by 11.4% last year. However, the WeightWatchers brand is growing rapidly – over half the low-fat cakes purchased in the year to July 17, 2005, were Weight Watchers, compared to less than one-third two

years ago.