Spotlight on the muffin market

The muffin market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.04% between 2022 and 2027 with the growth of the market dependant on several factors, including the growing demand for portion-snacking products, the increasing need for gluten-free and healthy bakery food, and the growth of organised retail and private labels. 

Muffins have grown in popularity in recent years because consumers are looking for convenient, single-serve snacks. And with the increased awareness of the importance of health, they’re now able to purchase these traditionally high-calories products in more manageable serving sizes. People are progressively more willing to experiment with new flavours while still paying attention to the nutritional value of the foods they consume.

This latest blog delves into the muffin market and highlights some of the trends we’re seeing across this format.

Impulse purchase muffins

Muffins are well-established in the breakfast and snacking market, but the challenge is to encourage impulse purchases that stand out and appeal to differing consumer audiences, at different times of the day. And as consumers are becoming more conscious of what they are eating, it’s important to respond to these demands.

As an on-the-go breakfast, consumers are seeking a functional snack, one that is healthier and packed with protein, fibre or slow-release energy to fill them up. Muffin flavours such as blueberry and banana or oat and berry work well.

As we move through the day, consumers are looking for a small treat to tide over a hunger pang until lunch. This is where we see scope for further innovation and development in the market by adding healthy additions such as chia, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or fruit and nuts to increase fibre. Protein is a huge trend in healthy eating and creating protein muffins will appeal to consumers who want a snack that will keep them fuller for longer.

After lunch or late afternoon, consumers will have moments of self-indulgence, often offset by being ‘good’ earlier in the day. This is a conscious decision to treat themselves and suppliers should look to create indulgent muffin flavours such as double chocolate and salted caramel and white chocolate to satisfy that sugar craving.

Making muffins a top treat choice

Pleasure is a key reason for consumers to buy, so ensuring muffins are the top choice for an indulgent treat is key. Consumers are willing to experiment with their taste and preferences, so this presents an opportunity to improve the indulgence offering by developing muffins with more fillings, toppings and innovative flavour combinations. Whether that be through homing in on those nostalgic flavours, reinventing popular flavours with a twist or appealing to those with dietary requirements.

This certainly provides an opportunity for seasonal flavours as consumers seek something new and ‘trendy’ that will stand out in a crowded market. In the summer months, consider raspberry and white chocolate as the perfect light choice and in the winter, why not try apple and cinnamon for a warming flavour with a hint of spice?

There are also consumers wanting a calorie-controlled diet and the recent trend of using healthy bakery ingredients such as whole grains and sugar substitutes for making muffins has propelled the market.  

The rise of savoury muffins

Savoury muffins are emerging as a trend as consumer tastes and preferences are changing, and many are willing to experiment with the foods they consume. With advancements in bakery food processing techniques and flavours, vendors are developing muffins with a variety of seasonings, garnishing, and additives and fillings such as cheese, parsley and meat are gaining traction. Take tomato, ham, feta and basil as an innovative, yet perfect choice as a savoury lunchtime muffin. Many bakers are also experimenting with a combination of sweet and savoury muffin flavours to give them a unique taste. Apple, chai and ricotta muffin anyone?

In-store bakeries boosting the muffin market

In-store bakeries are booming, with the concept growing +5 per cent year on year, which have helped the muffins market to grow and expand. These locations provide consumers with a greater choice of bakery goods with the convenience of obtaining everything under one roof.

While in store bakeries offer a point of difference for food retailers, the practicalities of managing multiple mini manufacturing operations across a large estate can be challenging. And while the boost the smell of freshly baked sweet treats can have on sales is undeniable, the need for ‘from scratch’ baking has lessened.

Several retailers have already scrapped scratch baking in their ISBs, swapping to bake-off products and pre-baked goods delivered daily to streamline their operations and respond to a shift in consumer buying behaviours. This offers a great opportunity for frozen muffins which can be baked off in store for that straight-out-of-the-oven aroma.

If you’re looking to introduce muffins or expand your range then please get in touch with us as
or call us on 023 8026 9926.