Prête-à-porter: Serving elegant ways to dress up take-out baked goods
By Jane Dummer
Consumers live a fast and busy lifestyle. While being health conscious, they gravitate towards purchasing more “grab and go” options and this includes baked goods.
This trend was in full force at The Winter Fancy Food Show held in January in San Francisco. From waffle cups to single-serve artisan cookies, companies are capitalizing on the coffee-to-go market. In fact, Amy North, author of the article Revealed: Bakery Food-to-Go Trends for 2019 in the British Baker reports, “a whopping 84 per cent of sweet bakery occasions feature a drink, nearly 60 per cent of which are hot. For coffee outlets, adding an in-store bakery fixture can increase profitability.”
Meet Dorit and Naomi Kashi, co-founders of Waffleshot®, a delicious edible waffle cup, hand coated in Belgian chocolate. These sisters have a coffee shop in Los Angeles and found that coffee and sweets are the perfect food-to-go match. Naomi explains, “Why not fill your cup with espresso, sip, nibble and repeat. Plus, there is no waste from a cup you can eat, it’s better for the environment. Our Waffleshot is available online, in retail and foodservice and are in all the Nespresso Cafes and Boutiques across the USA.”
Their online gift box of six waffle cups is elevated with cream filling in two flavours including s‘mores. The retail offering is a four pack of either bittersweet chocolate or white chocolate. Naomi describes their market as 60 per cent women and 40 per cent men between the age range of 24 to 46 years. Don’t forget the other possibilities of these eco-friendly single-serve edible cups beyond the grab-and-go coffee crowd. They are perfect for making desserts (cupcakes and no-bake cheesecake are favourites) serving ice cream and enjoying your favourite dessert wine or liqueur.
There is an entire consumer group looking for a high-end experience beyond traditional quick serve doughnut shops. Hunter Yerger, President of Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory agrees, “Our one-ounce size of sweet cookie straws is extremely popular at boutique coffee shops and tea houses. The single serve package is offered at point of sale and can easily be taken on-the-go with coffee or tea. Our top three flavours are toasted almond, sea salt caramel, and lemon shortbread. Currently, we are focussing on more sweet than savoury straw varieties.” The Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory is located Yazoo city, Mississippi and their products are sold across USA, Mexico, and Canada under both their label and private labels.
Another interesting market for the cookie straws includes wineries. From the Winter Fancy Food Show to other trends I’m observing a new market on an old tradition of baked goods and alcohol emerge. The Tuscans introduced us to cantucci (biscotti) and fortified wine, Vin Santo after dinner, which is definitely another opportunity for delicious single-serve baked goods.
Who doesn’t love a French pastry? Madeleines and palmiers are top sellers from Sugar Bowl Bakery located in Hayward, California. They are sold through most mainstream retailers in the USA offering consumers an elegant, single-serve cookie experience perfect for morning coffee, afternoon tea or even keeping on hand in your desk drawer for snack attacks. Pete Thomsen, director of sales & strategy, explains, “We are bringing high quality convenience to consumers with our madeleines and palmiers. Both cookies sell extremely well and are available in a clamshell container of 24 individual single serve at retail. We also have some independent bake shops selling them as single serve sweets for their coffee or tea to go market.”
Consumers want convenient, and elegant artisan baked goods to take on-the-go with their morning coffee, afternoon tea and have on hand as a treat. We keep hearing people are just too busy and always on the go. This demand is creating scrumptious growth opportunities in the baking industry.
Jane Dummer, RD, known as the Pod to Plate Food Consultant, collaborates and partners with the food and nutrition industry across North America.