Brownies represent an important category for the instore bakery and serve as a key purchasing driver for impulse sales and everyday occasions. In fact, brownies gained the most of dessert dollar sales last year in the instore bakery, with sales up 8.7 percent for the 52 weeks ending March 30, 2013.

Brownies are also widely popular across the country and posted solid growth in 2013 over all regions, according to Nielsen Perishables Group data:

East – 1.7%
Central – 10.4%
South – 12%
West – 8.4%

Mini brownies account for the largest share of the brownies/dessert bars category:

Minis – 35.5%
Uniced – 30.4%
Iced – 17.6%
Specialty – 9%
Dessert Bars – 7.4%

Brownies fit nicely into several of the most important “macro” trends in the bakery business.

Portion control
Smaller pack sizes
Expanding flavor palates
Turtle and chocolate chip spin-offs
Gourmet indulgence and nostalgia
Premium chocolate

Two of these trends, expanding flavor palates and gourmet indulgence, offer bakeries a great opportunity for innovation and creativity, helping them to stay relevant and interesting to consumers. Think Turtle and Chocolate Chip spinoffs and signage that calls out indulgent ingredients like “Premium Chocolate.”

When it comes to flavors, red velvet and sea salt caramel are two extremely popular trends in the dessert business. Dawn offers a line of layered brownies that include Red Velvet Cream Cheese and Sea Salt Caramel, along with other on-trend flavor combinations.