Muffins show significant sales gain

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muffins-tate-lyleMuffins continue their upward trend in the in-store bakery despite the department’s struggle to grow sales.

Although in-store bakeries struggled to grow dollar sales during most of 2012, muffins have continued their upward trend. During the 52 weeks ending Nov. 24, 2012, muffins averaged weekly sales of $483 per store, a gain of 5.9 percent from the previous year.

Muffins accounted for 4.4 percent of department sales, a 0.2 percent increase from the previous year. The category includes six-count, four-count, two- to three-count, one-count or bulk, mini and all other muffins.

Seasonality did not appear to play a large role in muffin sales. The week ending Oct. 6, 2012, posted the highest sales, with $576 per store. Mother’s Day weekend ending May 12 was the only holiday that drove a spike in muffin sales. This was the second-highest selling week nationally with $544 per store. Conversely, New Year’s Eve week ending Dec. 31, 2012, was the lowest selling week with average sales of $332 per store.

Muffin sales varied heavily from region to region. The East region’s weekly store sales nearly doubled the national average, with $947 per store. However, the East was the only region to decline in dollar sales, decreasing 0.8 percent from the previous year. The Central and West regions followed the East with store sales of $472 and $415, respectively. The Central region paced slightly behind the national sales growth with 5.3 percent gains. The West had very strong returns of 9.9 percent. The South region had the lowest per-store sales of $353 per week, but grew sales 9.3 percent.

Within the muffin category, four-count and one-count or bulk made up 60.3 percent of dollar sales. Compared to the prior year, four-count muffins’ weekly dollar sales increased 11.9 percent. One-count or bulk muffins’ average weekly dollar sales increased 1.7 percent, but declined in three of the four U.S. regions. The only region that did not experience a decline in one-count or bulk muffins was the West, which increased an impressive 30.6 percent.

All other muffins and mini muffins made up 19.1 percent and 14.7 percent of muffin dollar sales, respectively. All other muffins, which are made up of eight-, 12- and other-count muffins, increased 5.1 percent. Mini muffins saw notable sales growth of 9.7 percent.

Six- and two- to three-count muffins combined to account for less than 6 percent of total muffin sales. Six-count increased average weekly dollar sales 9.2 percent with especially strong performance in the Central and South regions. Two- to three-count muffins declined 59.3 percent nationally and experienced declines in all four regions.

As in-store bakeries continue to establish their points of differentiation, muffins will play an increasingly important role. Four-count and bulk muffins continue to make up the majority of sales and will require special attention in order to develop the correct assortment and promotions.

This sales review is provided by Nielsen Perishables Group. Based in Chicago, Nielsen Perishables Group specializes in retail measurement, analytics, marketing communications, category development, promotional best practices and shopper insights. Reported results are for the 52 weeks ending Nov. 24, 2012. Results were compiled from key U.S. grocery, mass/supercenter and club chains, including 17,000 stores nationwide.

Source: Modern Baking