Sweet Success – Baked Goods Bring Comfort

Assortment of sweet baked products including muffins, donuts, pies, and a croissant

Sweet Baked Products Are Rolling In The Dough

Americans not only have a sweet spot for chocolate and candy, but they also hold sweet baked products near and dear. Consumers continue to find comfort in sweet treats and desserts. According to IRI, cookie sales reached $9.6 billion, up 2.8% for 52 weeks ending April 18, 2021a. Similarly, pastries, doughnuts, and muffins experienced a 4.7% growth with total sales of $5.7 billion for the 52 weeks ending April 18, 2021b.

Taste, Flavor, and Texture are Key Consumer Attributes

Comax Flavors’ primary research of 1,200 U.S. respondents who consume sweet baked products including cakes, cookies, donuts, muffins, pies, cupcakes, and brownies revealed that taste, flavor, and texture are key attributes c:

  • 72% of respondents cited “Taste” as the most important attribute for sweet baked product purchases
  • More than half (58%) of respondents cited “Flavor” as the second most important purchase driver
  • 53% of respondents consume coffee with sweet baked products, making it the number one beverage

Respondents enjoy a variety of classic styles and flavors within each baked sweet goods category:


  • The most well-liked type of cake is “Frosted/Iced” with shy of two-thirds (64%) of respondents citing it
  • More than half (55%) of respondents enjoy “Chocolate,” making it the most popular cake flavor among all generations


  • Texture is a key factor in cookie consumption. Two-thirds (65%) of respondents consume “Soft/Chewy” cookies, while more than a half (52%) eat “Hard/Crunchy” and shy of half (47%) eat “Filled/Stuffed/Sandwich” cookies
  • 67% of respondents eat “Chocolate Chip” cookies, which is the number one cookie flavor consumed by all generations


  • “Glazed” (71%) and “Frosted/Iced” (70%) donuts are the top two types liked by all respondents with shy of three-quarters citing each type
  • “Chocolate” (56%) is the most popular flavor among all generations
  • One-third or more of respondents consume “Vanilla” (33%), “Cream/Custard” (33%), and Sugar (35%) donuts


  • “Blueberry” (52%) is the number one muffin flavor consumed by all generations
  • Shy of half (46%) of all respondents eat “Chocolate Chip” muffins
  • 43% of respondents enjoy “Chocolate” muffins


  • More than half (54%) of all generations consume “Apple” pie
  • One-third or more of respondents eat “Blueberry” (33%), “Chocolate” (35%), and “Cherry” (39%) pie flavors


  • Shy of three-quarters (73%) enjoy “Frosted/Iced” cupcakes
  • “Chocolate” (51%) and “Vanilla” (50%) are the two most prominent cupcake flavors liked among half of all respondents
  • 42% of respondents consume “Red Velvet” cupcakes


  • “Chocolate” (63%) and “Fudge” (60%) are the leading two brownie flavors well-liked among 60% or more of all respondents

Comax offers a broad selection of tasty, sweet baked flavors such as Apple Pie, Birthday Cake, Bourbon Brownie, Blueberry Muffin, Chocolate Glazed Donut, Chocolate Hazelnut Banana, Cinnamon Graham, Jelly Donut, Peach Cobbler, Raspberry Tart, New York-style Cheesecake, and Sugar Cookie. Interested in any of these flavors? Order a sample here. Looking for a specific flavor? Reach out to us.

Batter Up

Baked goods connote comfort and joy and frequently conjure warm childhood memories. The pandemic has accelerated consumers’ desire for sweet baked goods. According to a General Mills Foodservice survey conducted by the Harris Poll, 26% of Americans are craving more baked goods and 28% are eating more baked goods. Cookies (57%) and cakes (42%) are consumers’ preferred choicesd.

Consumers are eating more baked goods during the pandemic for several reasons:

  • 48% of consumers state because they crave something sweet
  • 42% to get a sense of comfort
  • 41% to induce happiness
  • 27% because they are giving themselves permission to indulge

Moving forward, Datassential identified 10 dessert megatrends which consumers are interested ine:

  • Seasonal desserts – 55%
  • Mini desserts – 53%
  • Inventive fritters or donuts – 44%
  • Next-level chocolate – 43%
  • Modern custards – 41%
  • Frozen desserts from global cuisines – 39%
  • Jumbo desserts – 35%
  • Extravagant, “Instagramable” desserts – 34%
  • Savory flavors – 31%
  • Diet-specific desserts – 28%

To meet consumers’ varied preferences, Comax develops an array of creative sweet dessert flavors. For seasonal desserts try Comax’s Pumpkin CheesecakePumpkin Churro, or Chestnut Streusel. Looking for a dessert with a global flair? Cocoa Curry and Masala Spiced Donut offer a savory twist inspired by Indian flavors while Cherry Yuzu, Ginger Sesame Caramel, Milk Tea, and Ube Vanilla are inspired by Asian frozen desserts. Love dough? Check out our Birthday Cake Cookie Dough, Cold Brew Coffee Cookie Dough, Deep Fried Cookie Dough, and S’mores Cookie Dough. Prefer a classic dessert? Chocolate Pudding and Vanilla Custard never go out of style.  Have a dietary restriction? Comax creates customized flavors and customized solutions using a variety of proprietary flavor technologies to meet consumer-specific product needs. For your next sweet baked flavor, get in touch here.


a  https://www.snackandbakery.com/articles/97074-state-of-the-industry-2021-cookies-see-growth-through-specialization

b https://www.snackandbakery.com/articles/97100-state-of-the-industry-2021-sweet-goods-serve-up-comfort-in-a-chaotic-year

c N=1200, Comax Sweet On Baked Goods Study February 2021; Cakes=200, Cookies N=200, Donuts N=200, Muffins N=200, Pies N=200, Cupcakes N=100, and Brownies N=100

d https://www.snackandbakery.com/articles/97077-state-of-the-industry-2021-bakers-explore-approachable-convenient-desserts

e https://www.foodservice-snacks-desserts.com/productsandbrands/industrynews/seasonaldessertsaddfestivetouchtoholidays