Business and Operations
Final Proof: Celebrating in style
From birthday cakes to sharing that favourite dessert, consumers want to celebrate in a safe way
March 23, 2022 By Jane Dummer
People are craving fun experiences and the opportunity to celebrate as we move into year three of the pandemic. Eating occasions continue to be a source of entertainment with people spending time at home due to limited travel options and ongoing restrictions.
From birthday cakes to sharing that favourite dessert, consumers want to celebrate in a safe way, possibly on a smaller scale. As a result, we are seeing the need for vibrant, seasonal and global flavours, plus new formats and of course confetti for celebratory sharing in 2022.
Debbie Gust, president of WOW! Factor Desserts, agrees: “We have been asked by many chain accounts for their own private-label version of a Celebration Cake. It may be a whole uncut cake that can be enjoyed by the entire table with leftovers to take home. Or personal, individual-sized celebration cakes. Customers dining at restaurants are often celebrating something and are drawn to a confetti-style white cake. This is extra special as the restaurant can personalize toppings with decorations and creative plating.”
The increase in personal, individual formats for celebrating is not only for the restaurant scene. Dianne Wolters, vice-president of product development at Everspring Farms, explains: “With people spending more time at home, we have modified our recipe development to reflect that. One of the most popular recipes we developed recently is an apple hand pie made with a sprouted spelt crust. If you are at home on your own or with only one other person, baking a whole pie may seem like a waste but making some smaller hand pies that can be enjoyed on an individual basis is a great option for a celebratory treat.”
Ingredients, flavour and colour top the list when we think about cakes, pies and baked goods for fun experiences and celebrations. Dufflet Rosenberg, founder of Dufflet Pastries, explains: “We have realized that the pandemic is making people more conscious of their dessert purchases. Customers are re-evaluating their priorities on where, what and how they buy. Similarly, we have discovered more motivations beyond price. Customers more than ever look for products made with natural, premium ingredients. They are increasingly open to new, exciting options like a combination of flavours such as our classic Chocolate Banana Cake, Lemon Coconut Cake; or want to discover new flavours including our seasonal Lychee Vanilla Mousse Cake. It gives an opportunity to explore a flavour they may not have considered before. For the new generation of consumers looking to share a treat photo on social media, appearance is more important than ever before! We have developed our rainbow cupcakes. Attractive and fun cupcakes with natural colours that have been well received by clients so far.”
Gust concurs: “This spring, we are excited to launch a Coconut Cream Pie Cheesecake and our Pucker Up Lemon Cup! Cake, both made with home-made everything. Consumers are drawn to all-natural ingredients, scratch-made recipes and locally sourced ingredients. Therefore, product development often revolves around ensuring we stay true to producing desserts with the cleanest ingredients. Our chocolate icing, chocolate ganache, custard, mousses, glazes, caramel and cream cheese icing are scratch made. We even make the condensed milk in our caramel!”
When it comes to celebrating, we can have a bit of nostalgia and adventure mixed into the recipe. Wolters explains: “We develop baking mixes with flavours that evoke festive and nostalgic feelings to celebrate the memory of baking traditions. Such as grandma’s gingerbread and mother’s shortbread. We also offer ingredients that are unique, or adventurous, that customers do not typically have access to. For example, each of our holiday SKUs featured a different flour as the base ingredient. The chocolate peppermint cookies were made with sprouted rye, the shortbread cookies featured sprouted red fife wheat flour and the gingerbread used sprouted spelt flour.”
Consumers are eager to celebrate in 2022! We can learn from these baking industry experts, as they offer delicious, vibrant options for all occasions.
Jane Dummer, RD, known as the Pod to Plate Food Consultant, collaborates and partners with the food and nutrition industry across North America. janedummer.com
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