Limited-service eateries have expanded their gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan dessert offerings, according to Datassential’s Dessert Keynote Report. Fully 52% of consumers crave classic desserts with a twist and 62% of operators are interested in this trend because familiar ingredients aren’t hard to source, but it’s creativity that changes the game. S’mores-inspired desserts alone have recorded a nearly fourfold increase in menu penetration. Desserts with cookie crumbs and crumbles have risen on menus 33% in the past decade. While ice cream is by far the most loved frozen dessert item at 90%, inter-generationally, there are some distinct differences. Gen Z enjoys its frozen desserts with some global flair such as shaved ice, mochi, and Thai rolled ice cream. The generation also has a particularly high affinity for shaved ice, at 34%.
Lightbulb Moment: There are two crossovers being talked about here. The first is healthy indulgence but it is being roped together with comfort crossovers – two very different trends. Make sure the dessert has a clear voice so consumers will be able to relate to it. Wondering where each direction is headed for dessert? That’s where Culinary Tides, Inc. comes in.