Boost springtime dessert sales with LTOs

spring desserts

From Bistro Collection® Gourmet Desserts.

Consumers and operators alike often associate seasonal desserts with pumpkin pie, gingerbread and candy canes—after all, winter is a season closely associated with indulgence.

But after the winter holidays, when people are hitting the gym and holding themselves to New Year’s Resolution diets, desserts don’t get as much attention. For operators, this can mean a lag in sales of sweets—but it’s not a lost cause. Updating springtime dessert menus to reflect the change in what diners are looking for can generate excitement and boost interest.

Trending spring flavors and formats

According to Technomic’s MenuMonitor, the top flavors for dessert during the first two quarters of 2017 were cream, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and banana. What’s more, chocolate desserts grew 9% over that same time, making them an area of opportunity on springtime dessert menus.

Additionally, layered cakes with fruit as a spotlight, such as strawberry shortcake, start making appearances during springtime, and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting can offer a refreshing change of pace after winter’s heavier desserts. Other flavors commonly found in springtime desserts may include lemon, coffee, raspberry, rhubarb and buttermilk. However, year-round popular flavors should still be included in the dessert lineup to ensure all guests can find something they’ll enjoy.

Serve up holiday tie-ins

While the most popular dessert flavors may not change from season to season, many consumers—32%—say that their preferences tend to change depending on the season, according to Technomic’s 2017 Flavor report. Furthermore, seasonal ingredients convey freshness and uniqueness and, when offered as LTOs, can also pique interest and excite consumers.

Foodservice directors have a big opportunity to jump on certain trends. For instance, coconut cakes might be more popular during springtime due to the occurrence of Easter and their prevalence for the holiday (the same can be said for carrot cake, of course).

Beyond Easter, directors can offer desserts for Valentine’s Day in February, St. Patrick’s Day in March and Mother’s Day in May. For instance, heart-shaped, indulgent chocolate desserts are perfect for Valentine’s Day, and for St. Patrick’s Day, operators can get in the spirit with Baileys-infused desserts from Bistro Collection® Gourmet Desserts.

These new desserts include Baileys Dark Chocolate Swirl Brownie featuring Baileys Irish Cream ganache; Baileys Cheesecake with Baileys mousse and a chocolate coffee crumb crust; and Baileys Gourmet Cake, a European sponge cake soaked in Baileys Irish Cream and filled with a Baileys and coffee-flavored mousse.  According to Technomic’s 2017 Dessert report, 67% of consumers like to purchase desserts made with brand-name ingredients, so desserts such as these can be an area of opportunity.

For foodservice directors looking to boost interest in desserts after the new year, tailoring menu offerings to reflect springtime trends is a great way to do so—but be sure to offer the classics, too (treats such as rich chocolate cake, oatmeal cookies and lemon bars never go out of style). Use fresh fruits, serve up seasonal treats, and experiment with new flavors.

Seize the exceptional opportunities facing today’s dessert menus. Check out splurge magazine for the latest insights paired with signature seasonal options for menu inspiration that will help build your business. For special savings on spring desserts, click here.

Bistro Collection® Gourmet Desserts offers a full line of on-trend, indulgent, ready-to-serve brownies & dessert bars, cakes, cheesecakes and more to help operators boost springtime and year-round desserts sales. Learn more at: www.bistrogourmetbakery.com.

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