Baked Confectionery Post Pandemic Trends

Covid-19 negatively impacted the cakes, cake-bars and sweet baked goods market but consumers are still looking for baked confectionery to get a mood boost and for comfort. It is anticipated that the market will start to recover throughout 2021.

What is happening in the market?

According to ExpertMarketSearch, confectionery products refer to ‘products that are rich in sugar or similar sweeteners. These include chocolates and non-chocolate candy such as gum, ice cream, and frozen desserts, sweet baked goods such as cookies, cakes, and pastries, and other sweet products such as jams, jellies, and preserves.’

The global confectionery market reached a value of about USD 204 billion in 2020. The industry is further expected to grow at a CAGR of about 4% in the forecast period of 2021-2026 to reach a value of around USD 255 billion by 2026.

Now, if we focus on cakes and sweet bakes, we can say that they are enjoyed almost universally, with 91% of consumers stating that they had eaten them in the three months to December 2019 (Mintel Survey, UK, April 2020). Of this total, 9% ate them more than once a week and 17% once a week. Despite the increased awareness of healthiness, these treats have remained a desired and indulgent food.

What is trending?

2021 innovation in cakes and sweet bakery should be focused around new indulgent and sustainable concepts, along with better-for-you recipes, as consumers look for more ways to treat themselves. Mintel ran a survey in the UK in April 2020 with 1,637 internet users aged 16+ who have bought cakes, cake bars or sweet baked goods in the last three months and here’s some interesting statistics:


77% of consumers indicated taste as the most important factor when choosing a cake, cake bar or sweet baked goods, with price being the second most important.


And 65% said they would like to see more innovative flavours.

Adding flavours, fruits or nuts to a cake mix might be key to keep on top of consumer trends and will help create a wide range of different varieties of baked confectionery.

Aim for artisanal quality is still up to date. The backlash against ultra-processed foods and mass production is an opportunity for brands to focus on quality ingredients and traditional, artisanal recipes.

Here are some ‘better-for-you’ baked products with innovative flavours

Whittard Tea Discoveries Chocolate Chip & Orange Biscuits are crisp, tangy biscuits with chocolate chips and flavours of orange. These biscuits come beautifully presented in a vintage-style patterned storage tin.
Border Biscuits Lemon Drizzle Melts are light biscuits with a zesty lemon flavoured.
Oats are healthy, however they are not very easy to consume as they taste bland and need to be cooked. For this reason, Nutrichoice Oat cookies are made with crunchy Almonds and zesty Oranges, a delicious new way to have Oats.
The Eat Natural Yogurt Almond & Apricot Bars are made with apricots, roasted, brown-skinned almonds, shreds of toasted coconut, puffs of rice lighten the mix with a dash of honey syrup to give a satisfying chew.

If your brand is looking for confectionery focused line extensions or to move into a new adjacent category, then KICR can help. KICR Innovation has worked with a variety of CPG brands across various confectionery/baking projects. You can check out our confectionery case studies here.

Or why not try our free NPD consultancy sessions to discuss your NPD ambitions or challenges? You can register right here. KICR is a global food and beverage NPD and breakthrough innovation consultancy, rapidly developing commercially winning, distinctive products.