During a cost-of-living crisis, translating UK dessert trends can be tricky business, with consumers continuing to curb weekly spending habits in order to save money.
Non-essentials are always the first to go, with a recent study by KPMG revealing that half of all UK consumers have cut back on discretionary spending
since the start of 2023 (with two-thirds said to be reducing their eating out spend).
And since we cited research from IGD's Eating In Vs. Eating Out report in our dedicated article on zero waste set menus
at the end of 2022 - research that said 43% of UK diners would be specifically looking to skip dessert
as the cost-of-living crisis bites; it's been clear that many restaurants are now trimming back on the number of sweet options available on à la carte menus
, often eschewing larger, more complicated numbers in favour of small, sweet hits to round meals off.
In retail, UK consumers are gravitating towards affordable, nostalgic puddings, with Ocado revealing in March that sales of its Arctic Rolls (£2) were up 143% compared to the previous year
, with its Sticky Toffee Pudding and Bread & Butter Pudding both more than tripling in sales, up 201%.
So what does this mean for food innovation teams looking ahead with their dessert NPD? With the cost-of-living crisis showing little sign of abating (and with a potential recession looming large); what sweet spots should food professionals focus on for 2024 (and beyond)?
Here at Insights Lab by Egg Soldiers, we're actively working with clients to identify business-specific opportunities for new and existing dessert development in these uncertain times, syncing with bespoke operational strategies
to refine and improve broader food offerings across both retail and foodservice.
This week, we're showcasing five dessert thought-starters as part of first stage product ideation, with off-menu creations, grown-up riffs on nostalgic classics, and a new cheesy dream all on the London-based menu.