The right ingredients for healthier holiday dessert recipes

Published: 15-Dec-2023

Do you love holiday desserts? We already know you do as the proof is in the pudding – along with several other major dessert categories based on global revenue and staggering statistical data

In 2022, the dessert industry continued to rise like a pumpkin pie's centre, offering comfort and convenience to consumers worldwide.

According to IRI, the top of the decade saw dairy and non-dairy desserts, such as pudding, parfaits, and gelatins, increase 8.2% to $843.8m, with rising unit sales of 1.7% to 396.9 million.

Even sweeter numbers for the dessert industry: cakes lifted 13.3% to $1.59bn based on an annual period ending in March 2022.

The pie category wasn't too shabby, either, increasing 4.0% to reach $795.6 million, while refrigerated cheesecakes (one of the fastest-growing dessert categories) achieved double-digit growth of 14.3% to $593.2m.

According to IBISWorld, in the United States alone, the market size (measured by revenue) of dessert stores industrywide reached nearly $17bn in 2022.

Although it's clear that consumers are not passing up on their dessert anytime soon – whether during the holidays or any occasion – there are, however, indicators that they are being mindful of overindulgence more than ever.

Although the refrigerated dairy dessert market is predicted to hit $8.8 billion by 2025, increasing plant-based milk demands may significantly impact that estimated growth.

The food and beverage trends consumers drive remain centred around ingredients that promote sugar reduction, plant-based solutions and healthier ingredient options that don't negatively impact flavours or textures.

After all, shoppers still prefer gingerbread's familiar, scrumptious taste – not ginger cardboard!

Formulators and food scientists around the globe are constantly working to create sustainable, clean-label and health-conscious consumer options, even for the baked goods, snacks, and traditional holiday desserts we usually inhale between November and December.

Besides sweets, do you plan on cutting back on alcohol during the onslaught of upcoming holiday parties? If so, you're not alone. Consumers are also embracing non-alcoholic adult beverages for a healthier indulgence.

During a yearlong period ending 29 July 2023, non-alcoholic retail product sales reached $510m, which, per Nielsen IQ, marks a 31% increase during the same period a year ago at convenience stores and supermarkets.

If you want to create healthier holiday desserts, adult beverages, or both, our Foodology by Univar Solutions teams from North America and EMEA have the right food ingredient formulation solutions for your latest guilt-free holiday recipes.

You may also like