This spring, Greensboro, North Carolina-based retailer The Fresh Market is celebrating International Women’s Day (March 8) by showcasing and adding products developed by women who run their company, employ other women and support social causes important to women. 

In April, The Fresh Market will begin carrying Bisousweet Confections Doughnut Muffins, created by Karen Collins. Collins supports local nonprofits in her neighborhood with regular food donations from her bakery. She also uses annual baking classes to raise money for scholarship and serves as a mentor for small food business at Babson College. 

“All of Bisousweet Confections are all-natural and preservative free, plus who doesn’t love doughnuts and muffins?” says Bridget Bacelli, merchandising specialist for The Fresh Market. “We love finding new, trendy bakery products like the Cro-Nut, and now doughnut muffins.” 

Also among The Fresh Market’s highlighted women-run product brands are Callie’s Biscuits, Bixby & Co., Foodstirs, Purely Elizabeth, Lotus Foods, Siren Snacks, Coolhaus, Van Hoekelen Greenhouses, and Me &The Bees Lemonade. 

Forecast: growth

A focus on high quality and portion size will help drive sales of muffins in the coming years. The global muffin market will increase at a compound annual growth rate of about 4% through 2021, according to London-based Technavio’s Global Muffins Market 2017-2021.

Baby Boomers and seniors make more bakery purchases than younger generations. Their purchases add up to more than half of all fresh bakery dollars, says Jonna Parker, principal with Chicago-based IRI’s Fresh Center of Excellence.

Convenient breakfast bakery items (like muffins) are among the top performing products in instore bakeries, helping keep overall bakery sales growth in positive territory. Instore bakery sales increased about 2.75% in the 52 weeks through July 21, to about $12.9 billion, according to IDDBA’s What’s in Store 2019.

Abe’s expands in Safeway stores in Northeast

West Nyack, New York-based Abe’s Muffins, the first and only nationally-branded vegan muffin company, is continuing to grow its distribution footprint through Safeway’s Northeast stores.

Safeway, a subdivision of Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons, started carrying Abe’s at its Denver, Colorado and select Northern California stores this past August. Abe’s products were an instant hit with Safeway’s customers, so the company decided to increase the number of regions carrying Abe’s “School-friendly” muffins.


Starting in late-January, Safeway’s 111 Northeast stores located across Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington D.C. began carrying Abe’s Wild Blueberry Smash and Chocolate Chip 6-pack mini muffins. Jewel, another subdivision of Albertsons, has been selling Abe’s muffins at all of its 187 stores in the Chicago area since 2018.

Abe’s founders, Joseph and Marty Koffman, are excited to grow their distribution footprint in the conventional grocery space. The increased distribution points will allow Abe’s to reach a larger consumer base of families affected by food allergies who may not be aware of their brand and currently have no other option than to bake at home.

While natural supermarkets are early adopters of the latest trends, new products, and food news, conventional grocery chains often take more time to adapt to trends and innovations. Marty Koffman says the fact that Safeway is keen on introducing Abe’s at its Northeastern stores is a huge step, as it “indicates that mainstream grocery stores are increasingly recognizing the rise of food allergies and the need for school-friendly options.”

Hispanic bakeries boost muffin offerings

Muffins are gaining popularity for stores including La Estrella Panadería in Mesa, Arizona. To offer more choices, the bakery offers two kinds of toppings: nuts or sprinkles.

“Our customers love fresh bakery products early in the morning,” says owner Veronica Ortiz of La Estrella, which opens every day at 5:30 a.m.

According to researcher Amanda Topper of London-based Mintel, half of consumers agreed that breakfast is more important than lunch or dinner in 2018. Portability is important. In addition to convenience, diners are looking for healthy breakfast foods that are high in protein, contain fruit.

Breakfast tends to be an on-the-go behavior, and muffins offer the speed and portability needed in the morning.

The morning meal (breakfast and morning snack) category has shown consistent traffic growth over the past several years and represents the only foodservice daypart with year-over-year growth, according to the Port Washington, New York-based NPD Group, a leading market research firm.

Bottom line is that a restaurant breakfast or morning meal serves a variety of needs. It satisfies the need for convenience at one of the busiest times of our day and is typically less costly than other restaurant meals.

Bantam Bread unleashes the Dirt Bomb muffinMuffins1

Bantam Bread Co. dedicates itself to producing high-quality artisan breads and rustic pastries made with the finest ingredients. One of those products that has given the Bantam, Connecticut bakery plenty of attention is the Dirt Bomb.

The innovative sweet is a nutmeg-scented muffin, dipped in butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar. It has a crunchy crust and soft, spiced interior. The product was recently featured as a “Highly Recommend” by Bon Appetit.

Dirt Bombs are just one of the many tasty offerings on the Bantam Bread menu. Other sweets include fruit crostatas, tarts, tea cakes, elephant ears, brownies, and cookies. On the bread side, the bakery features semolina batard, sunflower and flax sourdough, French sourdough, multi grain, caraway rye, and more.

Bantam Bread was launched in 1996 by Niles Golovin. Thanks to products like the Dirt Bomb (which has also been featured on The Food Network), the bakery continues to grow and gain recognition throughout the country.