Dawn Foods’ has recently undertaken a survey among consumers to find out more about their cookie consumption, what’s popular, the frequency and time that cookies are eaten as well as desired flavour combinations.
While soft eating American-style cookies continue to reign as the most popular sweet treat – in comparison to brownies, muffins and pastries – consumers are seeking out new and interesting flavour combinations, giving bakers an opportunity to get creative with their bakes.
Dawn’s cookie survey results showed that consumers are embracing the classic soft and chewy American-style cookie (over 80% of respondents), but the sweet bakery sector is highly competitive with all types of innovation vying for consumer attention. This is being demonstrated in the cookie category too with new product formats and ingredient combinations taking the cookie from a mid-morning coffee snack to a breakfast option and even a base for dessert.
As far as cookie flavour trends are concerned, Dawn’s survey revealed that chocolate chip is still a fail-safe choice, as well as perceived ‘healthier’ options like dried fruit, nuts and oats getting the thumbs up. Interestingly, nearly 20% of people opted for branded chocolate pieces (e.g. Rolo, Mars and Smarties), a trend which was also reflected when people were asked to describe their ultimate cookie flavours. Many people described cookies that replicated popular chocolate bars through inclusions, toppings or injected sauce centres.
Texture is increasingly important across a variety of bakery items and it looks like it’s important to cookie consumers too. A point made by Dawn’s consultant food futurologist Dr Morgaine Gaye too, who says: “New flavour combinations have been stealing the show for many years, but now it’s texture’s turn to step into the spotlight”.
Cookies with crunchy outers, velvety chocolate chunks and injected cookies with smooth centres are all textures that consumers love. Adding multiple inclusions like Maryland Mix’ems is also very popular. The successful Mix’ems contain popcorn, Smarties, candy shells, caramel and fruit jellies.
Alongside traditionally flavoured chocolate chip and oatmeal/raisin cookies, salted caramel is moving into the mainstream. A variety of sweet flavours such as cookies & cream, toffee, fudge and butterscotch are on the rise, representing flavour trends in the wider sweet bakery category. We are also starting to see a rise in the popularity of red velvet, chocolate orange and white chocolate & honeycomb. When we asked consumers what they would like to see in their cookies, many suggested gooey centres filled with chocolate or caramel sauce, as well some more unusual flavours suggestions like marshmallow, lemon and coffee.
Like other items in sweet bakery, there is a ‘premiumisation’ of cookies with many consumers opting for a cookie as a treat. Whilst many consumers buy pre-packed and off the shelf cookies from supermarkets (41%) the majority are now bought from the fresh bakery sections of supermarkets, for a more indulgent ‘freshly baked’ treat (43%). People are also treating themselves to cookies away from home in coffee shops and cafes, and most likely as a mid-morning (24%) or mid-afternoon (44%) snack.
The survey also found a real mix of ‘overloaded’ cookie suggestions, combining indulgent chocolate with healthier ingredients and of course for that all important mouth ‘texture’, muesli or granola style cookies are perfect for breakfast and grab ‘n’ go markets as consumers seek out more ‘natural’ and health-enhancing breakfast snacks.
Dawn offers a range of options for bakers to tap into the expanding cookie market, from finished frozen ‘pucks’ that can simply be baked off, to our frozen Scoop & Bake dough option. Dawn’s luxury American-style cookie pucks are available in classic Belgian Chocolate Chunk, Triple Belgian Chocolate Chunk, Belgian White Chocolate Chunk, Cranberry & Belgian White Chocolate Chunk and Oatmeal & Raisin reflecting the popularity of choc-fruit combos. They’re a simple and easy way to offer freshly baked cookies and fill premises with a tempting aroma without having to buy in additional ingredients or train for new skills. Dawn also offers fully finished frozen cookies for the ultimate in ease and convenience.
The perfect bridge between scratch bakery and ready to serve/bake, Scoop & Bake enables users to create all kinds of cookie in different sizes and price points using just one base mix. All natural flavour Scoop & Bake Vanilla Cookie Dough for example, offers a great traditional cookie taste to which bakers can add their own touch with the addition of different flavours and inclusions/ decorations – whatever the consumer preference!