Consumer Trends

Consumer dessert preferences change with the seasons

New dessert flavor preference research, conducted for Sara Lee Foodservice, confirms that consumers expect dessert options to change with the seasons. The study¹ features preferences from more than 1,000 consumers and underscores the importance of offering seasonal dessert menus to appeal to consumers specific seasonal flavor preferences.

The study shows that while chocolate is a big winner any time of year, its appeal tends to be strongest during the winter months.


Berries, meanwhile, peak in the spring and summer.


Although certain seasonal flavors are obvious and often tied to specific holidays (pumpkin in the fall, for instance), other more nuanced seasonal preferences are also apparent… and are perhaps less often capitalized upon by operators.  Lemon, for instance, is much more popular during the spring and summer; apple, by contrast, reaches its heights in the fall.


Merchandising seasonal dessert menus can also have an impact on sales. Operators who update their dessert menu four or more times per year are twice as likely to see dessert sales rise. Operators who only update their menu once a year or less are twice as likely to see dessert sales decline.²

For more information, call 1-800-682-SARA (7272).

¹ Datassential Consumer Dessert Study, 2014
² Technomic iLab, 2008

This post is sponsored by Sara Lee Foodservice

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