When the pandemic hit back in March, many consumers started loading up their pantries. That practice has benefitted a number of retail food and nonfood segments. Dairy and nondairy desserts appear to among those segments, with all categories posting strong growth during the 52 weeks ending July 12, 2020, according to data from Chicago-based market research firm IRI.


Refrigerated desserts soar

On the refrigerated side, the cheesecake category saw dollar sales jump 9.0% to $357.2 million. Unit sales rose a more modest 0.9% to 56.4 million.

Making the greatest gains among the top 10 brands was Atlanta Cheesecake Company, which posted 38.0% and 47.0% dollar and unit sales gains, respectively. Posting the most disappointing results was Carmine’s. Dollar sales took a 64.9% dive, while unit sales plunged 63.8%.

The refrigerated desserts category (pudding, mousse, gelatin and parfaits) also made respectable gains. Dollar sales shot up 8.2% to $843.8 million, while unit sales rose 1.7% to 396.9 million.

Among the top 10 brands, Patti’s Good Life was the big winner. Dollar sales increased 16.9%, while unit sales improved 16.4%. On the flip side, Kraft Heinz Hershey’s lost the most ground. Dollar sales fell 12.7%, while unit sales decreased 14.9%.

Meanwhile, the refrigerated whipped toppings category saw double-digit growth. Dollar sales climbed 14.8% to $1,312.9 million, and unit sales jumped 12.3% to 395.0 million.

The non-aerosol whipped toppings subcategory saw dollar and unit sales increase 19.2% and 17.3%, respectively, while the aerosol whipped toppings subcategory posted 9.0% and 6.5% dollar and unit sales gains.


No cool-down for frozen desserts

Within the frozen desserts/toppings category, the frozen whipped toppings subcategory performed well. Dollar sales improved 9.6% to $339.3 million, while unit sales rose 2.3% to 196.8 million.

Nondairy brand So Delicious CocoWhip posted the most impressive gains among the top 10 brands. Dollar sales swelled 37.4%, while unit sales surged 32.0%. But Rich’s struggled; the brand’s dollar and unit sales tumbled 61.3% and 71.1%, respectively.

Meanwhile, sales within the smaller frozen cheesecake subcategory really took off. Dollar sales expanded 21.8% to $160.0 million, while unit sales shot up 28.9% to 24.7 million.