Chances are your display case includes eye-catching, convenient and delectable single-serve desserts. They’re nothing new in the world of sweet baked goods, however, consumers are seeking a number of particular aspects that make individually sized cakes, eclairs and other smaller bakery items even more enticing.

Personalization, portability, clean label, sustainability and the idea of a sweet treat with less guilt are prime targets for trends this year. Honey fits in nicely with sweet goods, as it’s an all-natural ingredient that offers a wide range of flavor profiles and benefits in the bakery space. 

A 2020 consumer study, “Attitudes and Usage,” from the National Honey Board, found honey ranked No. 1 for the first time as Americans’ preferred sweetener. Honey is up to one-and-a-half times sweeter than sugar, which enables snack and bakery manufacturers to reduce the overall amounts of sweeteners in their applications. Further, honey is a complex substance with more than 180 components, including minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, prebiotics, carbohydrates and acids, according to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping.

EHL Insights notes that the growing demand for customization spans from the product itself to the purchase experience. “Personalized customer experience has always been important in the luxury world and this trend is now spreading to more common products as well. Often linked to craftsmanship, personalization means that a customer can feel the satisfaction of having a tailor-made product or service.”

For example, Osaka, Japan’s Beard Papa’s franchise bakery has made its way to multiple cities in the United States thanks in part to the popular Honey Butter Eclair. Customers have some power in their choice, with a step-by-step menu that includes choosing the puff pastry shell and the cream filling.  

Chicago-based Floriole’s pastry menu includes the classic Honey Pecan Sticky Bun, made with flaky croissant dough. Glazed with honey caramel and pecans, this pastry is one of the favorites on the list.