Sales of muffins, cookies and cake slices bounced back from the recession in the past year as consumers began trading up to premium products.

According to Kantar Worldpanel data on the packaged and in-store cake markets for the 52 weeks to 13 June 2010, value sales of American muffins increased by 11.3% on the same period the previous year, while the number of packs sold grew by 19%. Cookies were up 15.6% in value and 22.8% in pack sales during the period with cake slices up 10.5% in value and 11.5% in volume.

Simon Richardson, sales and NPD director at muffin and cookie supplier Rich Products, said the figures reflected a return in consumer confidence. "Following the recession, shoppers are trading back up from value to standard and from standard to premium right across our range. Premium cookies are definitely clawing their way back, with a lot of activity among brands such as Taste the Difference and Tesco Finest," he said. "Cookies have been promoted heavily and retailers have mastered the operational side of baking off. Packaging has also improved."

Caroline Threagold, marketing manager at cake maker Finsbury Food Group, said the cake market had been "challenging for everyone" in recent years. "Shoppers are very savvy, cherry-picking between sweet snacking categories and switching between deals," she said. "But premium is returning to growth after a period of decline. Retailers are coming back to higher-end products and will do so in the coming months."

The total cake market grew by 1.7% in value in the past 52 weeks, according to Kantar’s figures, with pack sales up 2.65%. Losers in the category included slab cakes, individual small cakes and minirolls, which saw value sales fall 7.9%, 5.7% and 3.5% respectively.

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