When evaluating the success rate of your cake program, sales trends over the past five years shed valuable light. Five years ago, weekly cake sales averaged $2,601 per store at US instore bakeries, according to Nielsen Perishables Group. In 2013, the average jumped to $3,267. This marks a sizeable gain, especially when you consider that cakes can hardly be considered a recession-proof item.Americans did, indeed, cut back on luxuries during the great recession of 2008-2009, and yet they did not cut back on “affordable luxuries” like cakes. A closer look at the changing dynamics of sub-category shares within the cake category since 2008 reveals even more interesting tidbits to evaluate and act upon. Cupcakes still trend upward. Dessert cake sales are sliding. Those trends are well documented, and explained by the steady movement among bakery shoppers to migrate toward desserts offered in smaller serving sizes. Click here to read the rest of this article in the September/October issue of Instore and learn more about what's trending in cakes.