Technomic's newest study finds that for the past three years more consumers have consistently eaten  dessert. Occupying the smallest portion of most restaurant menus, dessert presents a strong growth opportunity for operators looking to increase sales, according to a company release.

"Dessert is unique, because it not only involves sensory appeal, but also sparks strong emotional drivers," said Technomic EVP Darren Tristano. Tristano added that only 1 percent of Technomic's survey respondents said they did not eat dessert, and 70 percent eat dessert at least once a week.

The 2010 Dessert Consumer Trend Report was developed by Technomic to help restaurants, manufacturers and suppliers stay on top of current dessert trends and evolving consumer needs. Interesting findings include:

  • Fine dining menus are featuring more adventurous flavor combinations. Salty, smoky, savory and herbal flavor combinations can pique the interest of certain consumers.
  • A variety of beverages can also satisfy consumer dessert cravings. Coffee, specialty coffee options, and adult beverages can all serve as a dessert for many consumers. 
  • Pricing can influence dessert purchases, but cost is less of a factor for dessert than for other mealparts. Price is, however, a major consideration for consumers who purchase dessert from a retailer after dining out.

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