We reached out to Melissa Trimmer, executive pastry chef at Dawn Foods, to learn more about single-serve desserts, which continue to gain popularity, especially as IRI data show that the majority of households in America are 1-2 people.  

What are some creative examples of new ideas for single-serve desserts?

Whether serving cookies, brownies, or even slices of cake or pie, single-serve desserts offer a chance to take a classic dessert and give it a twist with unique flavors that can be customized for consumers. Creative ideas of these desserts can include:

  • Offering slices of layered cake with unique flavors like birthday cake and strawberries and cream
  • Taking brownies to the next level by incorporating different flavors like marshmallow or mint
  • Indulging in nostalgic flavors like pink lemonade to top cookies or cake slices
  • Creating Rice Krispie cake pops in fun shapes and characters for holidays or parties

How can retail bakeries plan special promotions that convey value and enjoyment?

Bakeries can capitalize on this trend by prominently featuring the pre-packaged and single-serve desserts they have for sale in a display case or in the front of the store to drive added foot traffic. Products that are decorated or holiday-themed – such as red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July – can be an easy way to drive interest and sales. Desserts that are decorated with bright colors or use unique flavors can also be eye-catching for customers and make the purchase of a single-serve dessert feel more personalized and special.

What about online?

Bakeries can have a dedicated section on their website to promote single-serve desserts and highlight the array of options for sale as well as the benefits of buying pre-packed and single-serve desserts—less food waste, added convenience, and customizable flavors and dessert options.

What are key trendy flavors?

Fruits such as berries, coconut and citrus are all hot flavors for the summer. Smoky flavors or something that reminds us of grilling will always be popular- think pineapple, grilled desserts, or smoked ingredients. Light, fruity, floral flavors win the day with an emphasis on berries and melons.

Any particular decorating ideas? 

Think about fun flavor combinations that both pull from nostalgia and incorporate bright, fun colors.   It’s true that we eat with our eyes first so selling a single serve item needs to have a big impact since you’re selling it to an individual rather than to a group.  Showcase items that can be cut easily or neatly or even make products mini—don’t underestimate cute packaging!