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Report: heavy demand for light desserts could create $ 10 billion market by '94.

There's an old political maxim that goes: Watch what I do, not what I say. And when it comes to food marketing, one is best advised to watch what consumers eat, not what they say they eat.

So perhaps it should be no surprise that while Americans are concerned with nutritional value and calorie content of foods eaten, they are still indulging in desserts without much guilt. In fact, according to New York-based research firm FIND/SVP, sales of light desserts increased 19% in 1990, reaching volume of $5.8 billion compared to $4.9 billion the previous year. Sales are expected to hit $10 billion by 1994.

The light desserts category is heavy in frozens, which represented 70% of the market in 1990 and accounted for $ 4.2 billion in revenues. This segment, dominated by frozen yogurt and light ice cream, saw sales increase by 14% over 1989. Canned fruit accounted for about 15% of the market on volume of $800 million in 1990; light baked desserts represented 9% worth or $500 million; light puddings claimed 4% on sales of $222 million; gelatin desserts are credited with 1% on volume worth $70 million; light confectioneries, representing less than 1% of the market, grossed $3 million.

The research house attributes the substantial growth of the light desserts category in part to product introductions of baked goods and puddings, which charted gains exceeding 80% and 60%, respectively. The entire market is expected to flourish, and by 1994 sales should increase by 70% at a compound annual growth rate of 14.6%.

"One significant area of concern for the light desserts market is the FDA's reformulation of the standard of identity for ice milk," said Peter Allen, FIND/SVP vice president of market research reports. "The term ice milk will be abandoned, and instead, two new categories will be introduced: reduced fat ice cream and low fat ice cream." It is believed that this change will consequently accelerate sales in the category as consumer demand for products so labeled increases.

The 200-page study, entitled The market for Light Desserts, is not light when it comes to price. It is available for $1,600 from FIND/SVP, Dept. F2, 625 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10011 USA.
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Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Oct 1, 1993
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