Dessert is a dining mainstay, with 41% of consumers eating dessert after a meal at least once a week, according to “2019 Dessert Consumer Trend Report,” produced by Technomic, Chicago. However, operators continue to streamline menus across all mealparts, therefore dessert menus have shrunk over the past two years in terms of number of items offered at both limited-service and full-service restaurants.

“As dessert menus continue to shrink, identifying an optimal product mix that can still maximize consumer satisfaction will be key,” says Bret Yonke, manager of consumer insights. “Moving forward, expect those who are truly looking to provide innovative dessert offerings to increasingly experiment with toppable beverages, such as milkshakes and hot chocolate, as well as spicy flavor profiles and dairy-free desserts that don’t compromise on taste."

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Consumers say that more than half of their dessert occasions are impulse-based.
  • 31% of consumers say they are more willing to try dairy-free desserts than they were two years ago.
  • 64% of consumers who rarely or never eat dessert say it’s because they are usually too full from their meal.