October 19, 2011: Mini Desserts
The ancient proverb “good things come in small packages” has never been more true—especially when it comes to desserts.
Last week USA Today reported that national food marketers are offering a wide array of bite-size snacks, from the just-introduced Cake Bites from Baskin-Robbins (cake and ice cream treats) to Starbucks’ Petites treats, which were brought to market last March, and are so successful the chain plans to launch a holiday Petites line next month.
Tiny treats appeal to consumers watching their weight—and their pocketbooks (though in some cases the lower price is more of an illusion, since people are buying a much smaller product). The small snack concept actually took off several years ago when food giants like Nabisco and Keebler introduced 100-calorie snack packs to a calorie-conscious America. The products were wildly popular—and a trend was born.
According to USA Today more than 80 percent of chefs surveyed by the National Restaurant Association think bite-sized desserts are “a hot trend.” The newfound popularity is driven partly by the recent adoption of food-labeling laws that require calorie and other nutritional information to be posted on restaurant menus and food cases. Many customers were startled to see how many calories and how much fat was packed into their daily scone from Starbucks, which was likely one reason the Petites line is such a big hit.
This trend can easily be adapted by any entrepreneur in the food business. If you own a coffeehouse, bakery, ice cream or yogurt shop, restaurant or catering service, be sure to start offering mini-treats and desserts. The sweet rewards will be yours to reap.