5 Trends to Watch 2024: Sweet Goods

The sweet goods category will continue to see growth as consumers reach for things that make them happy. Nostalgic flavors like birthday cake, cookie dough, cookies & cream and s’mores remain appealing because they bring joy.

Check Out Our 5 Trends to Watch in 2024 Featuring Sweet Goods:

1. Serving Size Reductions

Convenience packaging continues to top positioning claims in sweet goods, according to Innova Market Insights. As taste/flavor and cost are the top 2 factors of importance, alongside taste and indulgence as purchase drivers, smaller portions and easy-to-share packaging will continue to attract consumers.

2. Regulatory Headwinds

Increased scrutiny in ingredients will continue to trend throughout 2024 and beyond, naturally bringing attention to formulation and reformulation as needed. California Governor signed AB 418 prohibiting the use of four food additives commonly used to improve functional qualities and aesthetics in baked goods, desserts and confections effective in 2027. Reformulations, or regulatory pushback, is expected.

3. Seasonal Treats

Seasonal launches across sweet goods remain strong. Traditional holiday flavors remain popular, with flavors that complement chocolate, fruit blends, and sweet brown flavors seeing continued growth. Worldwide, seasonal/limited time offerings are growing faster than total food and beverages NPD: 11.2% CAGR vs 6.0% CAGR for the five years ending Q1 2022. While there are more seasonal launches annually than LTOs, limited editions are growing faster at 1.5% CAGR vs 10.2% CAGR. Keep an eye out for exotic fruits, red raspberry, and warm spicy flavors to assist wtih innovation. (Via Innova Seasonal and Limited Report 2023)

4. Instant Gratification

With more consumers purchasing confections and sweet treats online, manufacturers only have 2 minutes to influence a shopper’s behavior. According to Nielsen and the National Confectioners Association, it only takes consumers 34 seconds to choose a product. Attractive packaging, smaller portions and flavor innovation are ways to continue to gain new customers across sweet goods.

5. Nostalgia Continues to Appeal

Flavors of consumers’ childhoods continue to appeal. Flavors like birthday cake, cookie dough, cookies & cream and s’mores are on Innova Market Insight’s Emerging Flavors “Watch List” for Bakery, indicating brands are tapping into flavor profiles of the past decade. Considering approximately 40% of US purchase confection simply because it makes them happy, nostalgic profiles can help the category continue to bring joy to its consumers.

Synergy specializes in sweet taste solutions for the food, beverage and nutrition markets. Contact us to learn more about how we deliver the premium, seasonal, nostalgic and exotic flavors consumers crave.