Rumor has it that consumers are eating in more and dining out less.
In fact, a recent study on consumers’ attitudes toward dining out, conducted by Chicago-based Mintel Group, outlines that the casual dining segment will have declined 47% in revenue for 2009, and usage at fine dining establishments stands at only 19%, a much lower percentage than this time last year.
Statistics generated by Chicago’s Information Resources Inc., paint a somewhat similar picture for the frozen dessert sector. From Dec. 30, 2007, to March 29, 2009, for instance, revenue in the frozen dessert aisle plummeted nearly $45 million – an 18.3% drop since last year.
So where are consumers getting their frozen dessert fix?
Looking more closely at IRI’s results, the numbers show a warmer side to how frozen dessert sales are actually faring.
For example, Sara Lee takes the cake in the frozen cheesecake category, raking in $34.1 million, or 2.1% of the category’s total sales. This is partly due to the brand’s Classic Cheesecake line, which is made with Neufchatel cheese, fresh cream and a biscuit crumb base, and comes in seven varieties. Private label cheesecakes come in second with $11.6 million in sales and a 28% increase in unit sales.
Coming in as the No. 3 brand is Sara Lee Bites, which are available in Triple Chocolate Fudge, Carrot Cake and Chocolate-dipped Cheesecake varieties. Sara Lee Bites also rose a whopping 319.2% in unit sales.
Additionally, other frozen desserts outside of cheesecakes amounted to a cozy $216.2 in revenue.
Sara Lee, for instance, still places first with its Classic Bavarian line, according to IRI results, which consists of Chocolate Swirl, Caramel Chocolate, Chocolate and Banana Caramel types.
Furthermore, Pepperidge Farm’s 3-layer Cakes hold down the second place spot with its offerings of three-layer desserts topped with creamy icing that come in nine different choices.
In the meantime, numbers proved that the frozen novelty section of the aisle is on fire with a massive $2.7 billion in total revenue, IRI results say. Not so surprisingly, private label comes in at No. 1, followed by Weight Watchers at No. 2, then Nestlé Drumsticks holding down the No. 3 slot, each allotting for more than a $1 million slice of the sales.
The Skinny Cow brand places fourth with its recent introduction of the Truffle Bar, which is available in French Vanilla and Chocolate.
IRI shows Dreyer’s bringing in a cool $134 million due to its launch of Dreyer’s Loaded Mix-ins, which come in an assortment of flavors such as Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Cookies ‘N Cream, Chocolate Chip Mint Brownies and Butterfinger.
Regardless of where consumers are snacking on frozen desserts, some brands are heating up even their own numbers with an array of frozen treats.