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Category Management Handbook

Snacks: Sweet Snacks 2016

Where the Gains Are

According to IRI figures, c-store sales of sweet snacks saw gains across the board in the 52 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2015. The largest segment—bakery snacks, which includes Hostess Zingers, Twinkies and other brands—rose 6.5% by dollar sales. Pastry/Danish/coffeecakes, doughnuts and muffins enjoyed double-digit dollar-sale increases.

Nielsen data shows c-store dollar and unit sales growth for all segments but pies in the 52 weeks ending Jan. 2, 2016.

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2015

ProductC-tore sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit volume (millions)PCYA*
Bakery sancks$785.26.5%562.43.5%
Pastry/Danish/coffeecakes$685.311.8%511.77.5%
Cookies$674.77.9%620.15.1%
Doughnuts$630.911.5%412.48.3%
Muffins$181.020.7%102.515.2%

Source: IRI | * Percent change from a year ago | ** Including UPCs/brands/families not shown


C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Jan. 2, 2016

ProductC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit volume (millions)PCYA*
Cookies$619.24.9%565.52.7%
Cake$599.34.6%418.53.4%
Breakfast cake$596.09.0%429.75.4%
Doughnuts$574.06.1%362.72.9%
Muffins$128.96.0%71.42.1%
Pie$128.2(4.7%)87.4(7.3%)

Sources: The Nielsen Co., McKee Foods Corp. | * Percent change from a year ago


2.9 - Increase in c-store unit sales of baked sweet goods in the 52 weeks ending Jan. 2, 2016, per Nielsen


Breakfast-Cake Trends

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Jan. 2, 2016

C-store sales of breakfast cakes rose 9% in the 52 weeks ending Jan. 2, 2016, according to Nielsen, with Hostess and Tastykake gaining dollar and unit share.

Breakfast-Cake Brands

BrandC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit volume (millions)PCYA*
Bon Appetit$230.65.9%121.31.8%
Little Debbie$154.93.4%176.32.2%
Tastykake$61.018.4%39.516.2%
Hostess$47.5137.2%26.3130.7%
Bimbo$25.89.9%13.87.1%
Total**$596.09.0%429.75.4%

Sources: The Nielsen Co., McKee Foods Corp. | * Percent change from a year ago | ** Including UPCs/brands/families not shown


Market Share by Brand

BrandDollar sharePoint changeUnit sharePoint change
Bon Appetit38.7%(1.1)28.2%(1.0)
Little Debbie26.0%(1.4)41.0%(1.3)
Tastykake10.2%0.89.2%0.9
Hostess8.0%3.76.1%3.0
Bimbo4.3%0.33.2%(0.9)
Others12.8%9.112.3%9.4

Sources: The Nielsen Co., McKee Foods Corp.


Breakfast Cake UPCs

UPCC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit sales (millions)PCYA*
Bon Appetit Cheese & Berries Danish (5-oz.)$52.35.8%27.51.7%
Bon Appetit Cheese Croissant Danish (5-oz.)$40.74.5%21.40.4%
Bon Appetit Apple Danish (5-oz.)$37.31.4%19.6(2.4%)
Little Debbie Honey Bun (3.0-oz.)$30.33.5%63.63.2%
Little Debbie Honey Bun (4.02-oz.)$29.25.3%29.65.3%

Sources: The Nielsen Co., McKee Foods Corp. | * Percent change from a year ago

Continued: Cookies & Cakes

Cookie Trends

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Jan. 2, 2016

C-store cookie sales rose nearly 5% in the 52 weeks ending Jan. 2, 2016, with the Grandma’s brand and private label gaining in dollars and units, according to Nielsen.

Cookie Brands

BrandC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit volume (millions)PCYA*
Nabisco Cookies$207.9(0.0%)134.7(3.8%)
Grandma's Cookies$109.75.8%111.64.1%
Little Debbie Cookies$92.7(0.3%)155.5(0.8%)
Private label$72.730.9%63.431.0%
Keebler$31.20.8%28.43.2%
Total**$619.24.9%565.52.7%

Sources: The Nielsen Co., McKee Foods Corp. | * Percent change from a year ago | ** Including UPCs/brands/families not shown


Market Share by Brand

BrandDollar sharePoint changeUnit sharePoint change
Nabisco33.6%(1.6)23.8%(1.6)
Grandma's17.7%0.219.7%0.3
Little Debbie15.0%(0.8)27.5%(1.0)
Private label11.7%2.311.2%2.4
Keebler5.0%(0.2)5.0%0.0
Other17.0%0.112.8%(0.2)

Sources: The Nielsen Co., McKee Foods Corp.


Cookie UPCs

UPCC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit sales (millions)PCYA*
Grandma's Peanut Butter (2.875-oz.)$22.93.3%23.21.9%
Grandma's Vanilla Creme (3.025-oz.)$19.610.8%19.810.1%
Grandma's Chocolate Chip (2.875-oz.)$18.00.2%18.3(1.0%)
Little Debbie Nutty Bar (3-oz.)$16.48.7%22.09.0%
Nabisco Mini Chips Ahoy! (3-oz.)$14.210.1%8.87.6%

Sources: The Nielsen Co., McKee Foods Corp. | * Percent change from a year ago


Packaged Sweet Snacks: Share of Channel Sales

C-stores had 13% dollar share of packaged sweet baked goods in 2015, according to Packaged Facts.


Cake Trends

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Jan. 2, 2016

C-store cake sales grew at a more measured pace in most of 2015 after double- digit gains in 2014. Hostess picked up share to provide nearly one-third of dollar sales.

Cake Brands

BrandC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit volume (millions)PCYA*
Hostess$196.89.6%109.07.0%
Little Debbie$99.06.1%121.15.9%
Bon Appetit$67.07.0%35.32.9%
Bimbo$62.45.5%32.14.4%
Private label$54.51.8%42.43.7%
Total**$599.34.6%418.53.4%

Sources: The Nielsen Co., McKee Foods Corp. | * Percent change from a year ago | ** Including UPCs/brands/families not shown


Market Share by Brand

BrandDollar sharePoint changeUnit sharePoint change
Hostess32.8%1.526.1%0.9
Little Debbie16.5%0.228.9%0.7
Bon Appetit11.2%0.28.4%0.0
Bimbo10.4%0.17.7%0.1
Private label9.1%(0.3)10.1%0.0
Others20.0%10.818.8%11.1

Sources: The Nielsen Co., McKee Foods Corp.


Cake UPCs

UPCC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit sales (millions)PCYA*
Hostess CupCakes (3.17-oz.)$38.03.4%21.010%
Bon Appetit Banana Bread (4-oz.)$30.119.1%15.814.4%
Hostess Twinkies (2.7-oz.)$25.7(13.0%)14.3(15.4%)
Hostess Zingers Vanilla (3.81-oz.)$20.833.5%11.530.1%
Hostess Zingers Devil's Food (3.81-oz.)$20.021.1%11.018.8%

Sources: The Nielsen Co., McKee Foods Corp. | * Percent change from a year ago


Category Insight

C-store sales of baked sweet goods rose 5.5% and unit sales rose 2.9% in the 52 weeks ending Jan. 2, 2016, which partly reflects the channel’s focus on coffee and on-the-go snacking, but also an increase in sales of premium, higher-priced products, according to Chuck Clevenger, product manager of Little Debbie Snacks for McKee Foods Corp., citing Nielsen data. In fact, the most recent average unit cost for baked sweet goods hit $1.39 as of Jan. 2, according to Nielsen, which is its highest point in two years.

Continued: Doughnuts

Doughnut Trends

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Jan. 2, 2016

C-store doughnut sales rose more than 6% in the 52 weeks ending Jan. 2, 2016, per Nielsen, with Hostess gaining more than 8 points in dollar share.

Doughnut Brands

BrandC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit volume (millions)PCYA*
Hostess$163.348.1%80.142.7%
Little Debbie$126.42.3%145.51.5%
Private label$70.9(1.1%)43.7(5.0%)
Krispy Kreme$66.5(5.7%)21.5(6.9%)
Tastykake$57.2(7.4%)28.7(8.2%)
Total**$574.06.1%362.72.9%

Sources: The Nielsen Co., McKee Foods Corp. | * Percent change from a year ago | ** Including UPCs/brands/families not shown


Market Share by Brand

BrandDollar sharePoint changeUnit sharePoint change
Hostess28.5%8.122.1%6.2
Little Debbie22.0%(0.8)40.1%(0.6)
Private label12.4%(0.9)12.0%(1.0)
Krispy Kreme11.6%(1.4)5.9%(0.6)
Tastykake10.0%(1.5)7.9%(1.0)
Others15.5%(3.4)12.0%9.1

Sources: The Nielsen Co., McKee Foods Corp.


1.3934 - The average unit cost for baked sweet goods as of Jan. 2, 2016, according to Nielsen


Doughnut UPCs

UPCC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit sales (millions)PCYA*
Hostess Frosted Mini (3-oz.)$40.832.2%22.831.2%
Little Debbie Frosted (2.5-oz.)$29.1(2.8%)39.9(2.7%)
Hostess Crunch Mini (4-oz.)$27.636.2%15.535.8%
Hostess Powdered Sugar Mini (3-oz.)$25.217.5%14.115.9%
Little Debbie Glazed Donut Stick (2.75-oz.)$21.420.2%28.520.3%

Sources: The Nielsen Co., McKee Foods Corp.


Consumer in Focus

According to a 2015 online survey by Packaged Facts, consumers’ preferences for where they buy a sweet snack changes with the type of snack. For example, they most often bought doughnuts, pies, cookies, cakes and muffins at in-store bakeries. And independent bakeries were the top retail choice for doughnuts, cakes, cookies, pies and pastries. But the packaged shelf-stable aisle was the most popular retail venue for cookies and snack cakes.


Snacks: What to Watch

Salty Snacks

Sweet Snacks

Meat Snacks

Energy/Diet/Granola Bars

Category Manager of the Year: William Slattery

View the full 2016 Category Management Handbook

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