Tasty trends - the latest dessert developments

November 03 2014

This year so far has seen a number of dessert trends take off in the dining industry - and many of these developments are set to stay into 2015.

Keep reading for a rundown of 2014’s key dessert trends and a forward look to what to expect for next year.

Miniature morsels

Throughout 2014, a growing focus has been placed on miniature desserts, as consumers increasingly tucked in to a little of what they fancied. A taste of true indulgence in a small, beautifully-presented package gives consumers a luxurious experience without the guilt associated with large portion sizes.

The move towards petite puddings reflects the growing focus on healthy eating, echoing the motto of ‘everything in moderation’. Classic desserts in diminutive form allow for a little indulgence yet can still fit in with modern diet plans.

Smaller puddings can also be seen as the product of economic changes – making meals more affordable by reducing portion size means the savings are passed on to the consumer, enabling people to eat out without detrimentally affecting their finances. Miniature puddings have become more popular over the past few years, forming part of a menu trend that seems set to stay. 

Frozen fancies

The past year has also seen the growing trend towards frozen puddings as consumers look to experiment with interesting and appealing puddings with an international twist.

Cooler desserts took off during the warm summer months as a result of the heat and also as a flavourful, healthier alternative to traditional puddings.

Frozen yoghurt is a popular alternative to ice cream and sorbets are a light, refreshing option that still provides that sweet taste. Iced berries add zest and a healthy kick to frozen desserts, while ice cream cheesecake offers a new and indulgent take on two classic puddings.

Many frozen desserts are incorporating delicate flavours of tea and coffee, infusing international tastes in a sensory experience that’s still relatively new and exciting.

Fare sharing

Eating out has taken on a more informal feel in 2014 and the introduction of dessert sharing platters reflects this trend towards a more laid-back approach to dining. Sharing platters do away with formalities, enabling a more relaxed experience for diners.

Sharing platters also fit in with the trend towards weight watching, as diners sharing sweet treats will typically eat less if there’s less to go around, avoiding feelings of guilt or overindulgence. 

Opting for a platter allows consumers to share food, conversation and also - importantly - the cost. Dining out is a luxury for many people but it becomes that bit more affordable and enjoyable if it’s possible to spend less while still getting value for money. Sharing platters are great for groups of friends or families and this is another trend set to stay well into 2015, if not beyond.

Sustainably sweet

Another growing trend that won’t be going anywhere for the foreseeable future is the increasing importance of sourcing sustainable ingredients for sweet treats. As environmental issues become more pressing, so too does the desire among consumers to live more sustainably, and this is a growing principle when it comes to deciding where to eat out.

Consumers increasingly want to know where their food comes from and that it’s been sourced sustainably; restaurants are obliging by using local suppliers to cut down on emissions and cutting their use of modified foods, often producing ingredients on site by establishing produce and herb gardens or making their own bread and ice cream.

The trend towards sustainable sweet dishes will continue long into the future, assuming awareness of environmental issues continues to be at the fore.

So, sustainability, sharing, frozen desserts and a focus on smaller portions are all trends that have gained pace in 2014 and are likely to continue into 2015. Other trends to look out for include the growing popularity of ethnic desserts - allowing consumers to experience the best puddings from other cultures - and the trend towards ever-more creative cakes as cake pops take a backseat and more intricate combinations of hot and cold take over.