Mini sweets build big sales

mini baked goods

From Schulstad.

Less can definitely be more when it comes to selling pastries and desserts. Mini and individually sized baked goods—from croissants and savory topped breads to sweet pastries, cupcakes, doughnuts and more—are perfect for the way consumers eat today. They satisfy snackers, address portion-size concerns, offer a value-priced indulgence and work perfectly across dayparts.

They can also entice customers to order dessert. According to Technomic, 34 percent of consumers say they are more likely to order dessert if a mini portion is available. Smaller portions also address two of the top deterrents to dessert buys: price, and being too full after the meal.

Perhaps the biggest argument for going big on smaller baked goods, however, is the growing popularity of snacks as alternatives or additions to regular meals. With snacking becoming a more common eating pattern among many customer groups, minis and individually portioned baked goods of all kinds satisfy demand for four to five smaller meals throughout the day, rather than just two or three squares.

This is especially true as traditional eating occasions such as breakfast continue to blur into one another. Consumers now seek out breakfast flavors during all times of day and in all menu parts, and mini baked goods appeal to guests looking for a quick, on-the-go item.

Though a snack can be just about anything small, from a bag of chips to an apple, recent snacking data from Technomic confirms that 45 percent of consumers who order snacks say they typically order them from the dessert section of the menu. Mini and individually sized desserts, including baked goods such as cupcakes, cake pops, cookies, and single-portion cheesecakes, mousse cakes and other sweet specialties, are perfect for the dessert-as-snack trend. 

Individual pastries and baked goods are also tailor-made for catering sales, including lucrative and convenient self-service catering platters and boxed lunches. Along with such items as dried and fresh fruit and yogurt cups, minis are perfect for breakfast meetings and breaks, and they can be paired with sandwich samplers (either half-sandwiches or filled, slider-style rolls) and salads for easy service during working breakfasts or lunches.

Here are a few other tips for boosting sales with mini baked goods:

  • Offer a morning beverage-and-baked-good combo deal, such as coffee and a mini Danish or croissant
  • Station a snack cart in a high-traffic area during key dayparts to sell grab-and-go impulse items, including individually sized baked goods
  • Encourage sharing by menuing a dessert sampler featuring several different mini-size sweets
  • Add a mini baked good platter to self-service catering
  • For catered breaks, offer mini pastries and other small baked goods, which facilitate sampling—and mingling—and are easier to bring back in to the meeting
  • Tuck a mini pastry into a lunch bag or box

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

In a bid to beef up its presence in sports arenas and a variety of other large venues, Sodexo will acquire foodservice vendor Centerplate for $675 million.

Sodexo says the deal, which is expected to be finalized by the end of this year, will more than double its global footprint.

Centerplate, which serves as the foodservice operator for a number for stadiums, convention halls and other event spaces, brought in revenues of $998 million for the year ending June 2017, according to Sodexo. Centerplate was purchased five years ago by Olympus Partners, a private-equity company...

Menu Development
eggs

Loyola University Maryland took a new approach to all-day breakfast with an egg-focused concept.

Breakfast options were top of mind for students when asked what they would like to see on the menu at the university’s revamped Boulder Garden Cafe. Instead of creating an all-day breakfast station, however, the Baltimore-based dining team went beyond traditional options and created a concept that services all mealparts with eggs.

“It can be somewhat mundane,” says Executive Chef Don Crowther on why the team strayed away from the trendy all-day breakfast. At the eatery’s Sunny...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Kansas has added a retail pass that allows students to purchase one to-go combo meal per day at cafes and markets on campus, the University Daily Kansan reports.

The pass is available on two different meal plans and is geared toward on-the-go students who don’t have the time to sit down and eat at a residence hall.

“It has increased the participation rate,” Jamie Reed, a service assistant for the school’s dining services, told the University Daily Kansan.

Over 1,800 students have used the pass since its debut at the beginning of the semester....

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Minnesota dining team has created a vegan student group in an effort to improve the school’s vegan offerings, Minnesota Daily reports.

The group was created by the school’s foodservice vendor, Aramark, and its campus sustainability coordinator, who is vegan, after receiving numerous complaints from students about the lack of vegan options on campus.

The group will this week host its first meeting, during which members will be able to share feedback and provide solutions to help enhance the school’s vegan offerings. Members will also keep a photo journal...

FSD Resources