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4 Key Dessert Industry Trends and How Industry-Specific Software Helps Produce Sweet Success

4 Key Dessert Industry Trends and How Industry-Specific Software Helps Produce Sweet Success


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4 Key Dessert Industry Trends and How Industry-Specific Software Helps Produce Sweet Success

Jan 5, 2023

John McCurdy
Decadent chocolate and other ingredients for making desserts.

Celebrity pastry chef Jacques Torres is credited with coining the tongue-in-cheek phrase “Life is short—eat dessert first.” While there’s no wrong way to enjoy your sweet treats, we’re embracing the sentiment behind his words and celebrating the beginning of 2023 by diving in on the latest developments in the sector here at the beginning of the year.

There’s more than just a memorable quote and convenient timing behind this post, though. Some recent research has gleaned some fascinating insights into the popularity of desserts and how consumers’ preferences are shifting. For example, the U.S. ice cream market alone is valued at $7.7 billion—giving it the largest share of all frozen food products—while the popularity of chocolate surged during the pandemic and remains high in the “new normal” era.

And did you know that 53% of participants in a Datassential survey this year indicated that they’d had dessert within the past day? Each of these stats is proof that the category is on the rise, and the fact that more shoppers are interested in improving their health with the foods they eat doesn’t mean that they aren’t incorporating sweets as part of their diet.

To help you better understand where the sector is headed and the forces behind the changes we’ve seen, we’re covering four key dessert industry trends in this piece and examining the forces behind them. We’ll also explain how the purpose-built features of industry-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions can help your business adapt and continue to find success in the future.

1. Heightened Demand

We covered the dessert segment’s soaring demand in the introduction to some degree, but it’s important to point out that it’s not just ice cream and chocolate that are on the rise. The cake category grew 13.3% to $1.59 billion this past year, while pies increased by 4% to $796 million and refrigerated cheesecakes spiked 14.3% to $593 million.

It’s clear from those numbers that consumers’ appetites for sweets are strong, which means companies specializing in just about any product type need to adapt if they want to capitalize on the considerable opportunities for revenue generation. The production planning features of an ERP for food manufacturing help you do just that by providing the visibility you need to precisely align supply with demand.

Additionally, an ERP’s vendor and customer item catalogs make the ordering process easier on both ends of the supply chain and even enable automatic reordering based on criteria that either your production managers or outside clients set. Aptean Food & Beverage ERP also allows for the creation of multiple production scenarios to keep your lines moving regardless of the circumstances—if you find yourself short on supplies for the primary plan, you can switch to the backup.

2. Increased Popularity of Baking at Home

While baking at home first rose in popularity during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak, sales of baking-related products has continued to increase over the past two years and are expected to remain elevated through 2025. Consumers are motivated not only out of necessity but also because baked goods are a source of comfort and nostalgia.

If your business produces ingredients for baking, you know how important traceability is for compliance and brand reputation. That’s why you need the lot and sublot management tools of food industry software, as they give you the ability to track materials like flour, sugar and oil in bulk and at the individual item level both forward and backward along the supply chain.

Considering allergen segregation and declaration are critical for baking supply manufacturers as well—as they often deal with wheat, soy and sesame—the product specification functionalities of food ERP software can have great utility, as they allow for easy identification of items that need to be handled and labeled with care. Meanwhile, those organizations that produce perishables involved in baking like milk and eggs will find the expiration management features of food and beverage ERPs indispensable.


of Datassential survey participants reported having eaten dessert in the past 24 hours

3. Greater Interest in Healthy Alternatives

Another topic we touched on at the outset of this post is consumers’ preferences for healthier alternatives and the fact that it is actually compatible with the dessert segment, even if it may not seem to be at first blush. It simply requires innovation on the part of manufacturers, many of which are now looking to launch natural, organic, gluten-free, sugar-free and plant based versions of their standard items.

If your company wants to get in on this action, you’ll want the robust component and material management tools of a food and beverage PLM solution. With all ingredient and nutritional data stored in one central repository, you’ll be able to iterate on your products to create healthier versions with ease and track all important quality control information for future reference.

An advanced industry-specific PLM system—like our own Aptean PLM Lascom Edition—will also have the advanced formulation features you need to dial in the recipes of your new offerings and automatically pull relevant ingredient facts from USDA National Nutrient or CIQUAL databases. Our software also includes a supplier portal, which makes it simpler to bring on new supply chain partners and allows for collaboration and sharing of product-related information.

4. Prevalence of Smaller, Pre-Packaged Formats

This last trend is fueled by consumers’ need for convenience as well as their desire to maintain healthier eating habits. Smaller, pre-packaged formats enable snacking on-the-go thanks to their convenient format of the item and help individuals control their portion sizes or try a greater variety of flavors in one sitting without overeating.

The product design management tools of purpose-built PLM software make reconfiguring your items into a smaller size a simpler process by facilitating iteration on the original product parameters to create a new version aligned with emergent preferences. The “single source of truth” that Aptean PLM provides lets you manage every step of the development process and use classification and search tools with integrated Business Intelligence to quickly find the product data you’re looking for.

What’s more, our PLM solution has project and task management features that facilitate collaboration between your departments, including the design teams that will be actively involved in the creation of your smaller-format goods. Then, back over on the ERP side of things, dedicated packaging functionalities enable effective management of all necessary materials, including boxes, cartons, wrappers and more.

Key Reasons to Choose Aptean

Now that you’ve got a read on the latest and most prominent dessert industry trends and how food manufacturing software can help you keep pace with the changing market, you may find yourself wondering how to evaluate your different options. Whether you’re looking for an ERP solution, PLM system or both, we’ve got some compelling reasons to trust us for your needs.

The list begins with our professionals’ collective decades of industry experience—we know the food and beverage space well, including the desserts category, and understand that there are unique challenges that come with it. We also act as a partner for all of our customers, helping to guide the implementation process and sketch out a roadmap for your digital transformation journey.

Then, there’s the fact that we offer flexible cloud deployments for Aptean Food & Beverage ERP and recommend the Software as a Service (SaaS) model for full scalability, enhanced data protection, stronger cybersecurity and remote accessibility for employees on mobile. The system is also composed of unique industry-specific technology built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central platform, which lends the interface a user-friendly feel and intuitive learning process.

Aptean Food & Beverage ERP was also recognized with Frost and Sullivan’s 2022 Product Leadership Award in North American ERP Software for the Food and Beverage Industry, which demonstrates that our offering is well-known for quality, reliability and performance. In short, there’s a reason that food and beverage businesses around the world have turned to us for their tech stack—with our complete suite of leading solutions, we’ve got you covered.

So, ready to hear more about how our ERP and PLM software can facilitate the agile approach you need to adapt to dessert industry trends? Contact us today or request a personalized demo.

Ready for tasty technological solutions?

With Aptean’s ERP for confectionery businesses, you’ll be ready to accomplish the goals you crave.

Chocolate Cake