Despite rising costs of inputs spurring price inflation within the instore bakery, the muffin category maintained steady sales in the 52 weeks ending May 26, 2012. Compared to the prior year, sales shifted toward larger-count packages, such as 4-count and 6-count muffins.

In the 52 weeks ending May 26, 2012, muffin sales accounted for 4.4% of bakery department dollar sales per week per store, unchanged compared to the prior year. Over the past five years*, muffin sales remained steady, with growth of 0.2% year-over-year.

Nationally, the category averaged sales of $471 per week per store, an increase of 4.7% from $450 the prior year. The top week for muffin sales occurred the first week of May with $536 per store, driven by 4-count and 6-count packages. Sales dipped to $338 per store (their lowest point) the week between Christmas and New Year’s. 

The East region had the highest per-store dollar average with $1,033 per week, more than double that of the next leading region, the Central region, with $440. The West and the South regions followed with $380 and $291, respectively.  

Muffin sales increased across regions, with growth rates of 6% in the West, 5.3% in the South, 4.6% in the Central region and 2.6% in the East. Dollar growth for muffins surpassed that of the bakery department in all regions except the East, where growth was on par with overall department growth. Price inflation drove the growth of the category.

The West and Central regions were the only regions where the muffin category’s contribution to bakery department sales increased compared to the prior year, both up 0.1% point. Dollar contributions to department sales remained steady in both the East and the South regions. Muffins’ highest contribution to bakery department sales was in the East (6.9%), followed by the Central region (3.9%), the West (3.6%) and the South (3.4%).

Nationally, 4-count muffins led sales with 44.2% dollar share of the category, followed by 1-count/bulk muffins at 28.9%, mini muffins at 13.9%, 6-count muffins at 5.7%, all other muffins — which includes jumbo muffins and muffin tops — at 5.7% and 2-3 count muffins at 1.6%. The 4-count muffins sub-category gained 2.8 dollar share points at the expense of 1-count/bulk, all other and 2-3 count muffins. Increases in price and volume of 4-count muffin packages and increases in the average number of unique items on store shelves contributed to 4-count muffin growth.

Price inflation contributed to the dollar sales growth of most muffin sub-categories. Four-count muffins led sub-category growth with an increase of 11.8%, followed by 6-count muffins at 6.4%, mini muffins at 4.7% and 1-count/bulk muffins at 1.1%. Dollars declined for 2-3 count muffins (-45.2%), as the average number of unique items and distribution fell by double-digits. These factors contributed to the 2.3% sales decline of 2-3 count muffins. Retailers also increased their offerings and lowered prices of smaller-portioned mini muffins, which helped drive the volume of mini muffins up in the 52 weeks ending May 26 2012.

*Nielsen Perishables Group FreshFacts, 5-year Same Store Historical Data

This sales review is provided by Nielsen Perishables Group. Based in Chicago, Nielsen Perishables Group specializes in measurement, analytics, marketing communications, category development, promotional best practices and shopper insights. Reported results are compiled from supermarkets nationwide, representing approximately 62% of national supermarket ACV share.

For more information contact the Nielsen Perishables Group: Kelli Beckel, 773.929.7013; email: