Pub dessert sales fall as 'fickle' diners turn nose up at sweet trolley

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Percentage point, Types of restaurants, 12 months

There was a decline in the number of desserts sold by pubs
There was a decline in the number of desserts sold by pubs
Sales of desserts in pubs, restaurants and cafes have fallen 6.4% in a year, with “fickle” diners eschewing the course, a new report from NPD group shows.

The report says 95.8m fewer desserts were ordered out-of-home over the year compared to the previous 12 months. The proportion of consumers who see them as important on the menu fell by 0.7 percentage points to 11.4%.

The decline was sharpest among full service restaurants, where servings fell by 16.5%, or 39.3m, and menu importance fell by 1.8pps to 19.2%. There was also a significant decline among quick service restaurants (down 5.4% or 28.6m) and pubs (-9.9%/-19.8m).

The menu importance rating among these two categories fell 0.6pps to 8.2% and 1.7pps to 12.6% respectively.

However, cafes and bistros managed to buck the trend, serving 1.6m more desserts over the year, a rise of 4.3%, while the menu importance rating grew by one percentage point to 13.6%.

Across the wider travel and leisure sector, sales of desserts fell 3.3%, or 9.6m. NPD Group said: “This time last year the future for desserts was looking good: diners consumed their way through an extra 56m servings compared to 2011, and menu importance was back to where it had been the previous year.

“This year, however, all is not well in the world of desserts. By March 2013, fickle British diners were turning their noses up at the sweets trolley. This year they’ve eaten nearly 96 million fewer servings of desserts than they did during the preceding 12 months, and menu incidence is down on last year’s across nearly every channel.

NPD added: “During hard times it’s often said that consumers still want a comparatively inexpensive way to treat and indulge themselves, and a dessert or a sweet snack is often the way when eating out of home.

“But here we come to the crux of the problem: in trying to keep spend down, desserts are among the last to be chosen but first to be eschewed.

"The research company advised operators and manufacturers to “find innovative ways to convince the sated and fickle British consumer to go for something naughty but nice again”.

Related topics: News

Related news

Show more