A young boy sits on his mothers lap while they decorate healthy holiday desserts recipes together.A young boy sits on his mothers lap while they decorate healthy holiday desserts recipes together.

Do you love desserts? We already know you do since the proof is in the pudding – along with several other major dessert categories based on global revenue and staggering statistical data.

In 2022, the dessert industry continued to rise like a pumpkin pie's center, offering comfort and convenience to consumers worldwide. According to IRI, the top of the decade saw dairy and non-dairy desserts, such as pudding, parfaits, and gelatins, increase 8.2% to $843.8 million, with rising unit sales of 1.7% to 396.9 million.

Even sweeter numbers for the dessert industry: Cakes lifted 13.3% to $1.59 billion based on an annual period ending in March 2022. The pie category wasn't too shabby, either, increasing 4.0% to reach $795.6 million, while refrigerated cheesecakes (one of the fastest-growing dessert categories) achieved double-digit growth of 14.3% to $593.2 million. According to IBISWorld, in the United States alone, the market size (measured by revenue) of dessert stores industrywide reached nearly $17 billion in 2022.

While it's clear that consumers are not passing up on their dessert anytime soon there are, however, indicators that they are being mindful of overindulgence more than ever. Although the refrigerated dairy dessert market is predicted to hit $8.8 billion by 2025, increasing plant-based milk demands may significantly impact that estimated growth.

A man embraces his wife as she holds a tray of healthy holiday muffins for their children in front of a decorated Christmas tree.A man embraces his wife as she holds a tray of healthy holiday muffins for their children in front of a decorated Christmas tree.

The food and beverage trends consumers drive remain centered around ingredients that promote sugar reduction, plant-based solutions, and healthier ingredient options that don't negatively impact flavors or textures. After all, shoppers still prefer gingerbread's familiar, scrumptious taste – not ginger cardboard!

Formulators and food scientists around the globe are constantly working to create sustainable, clean-label, and health-conscious consumer options, even for the baked goods, snacks, and traditional desserts we usually inhale between November and December.

Besides sweets, do you plan on cutting back on alcohol during the onslaught of upcoming parties? If so, you're not alone. Consumers are also embracing non-alcoholic adult beverages for a healthier indulgence. During a yearlong period ending July 29, 2023, non-alcoholic retail product sales reached $510 million, which, per Nielsen IQ, marks a 31% increase over the same period a year ago at convenience stores and supermarkets.

If you want to create healthier desserts, adult beverages, or both, our Foodology by Univar Solutions teams from North America and EMEA have the right food ingredient formulation solutions for your latest guilt-free recipes.

Reduced sugar double chocolate chip muffins

A row of double chocolate chip muffins on a wooden serving trayA row of double chocolate chip muffins on a wooden serving tray

There's nothing quite like the wafting scent of baking muffins. In this video, Dylan Morton, Culinary Development Specialist, and Nadeen Meyers, Application Development Specialist from the Foodology by Univar Solutions North America team, create a new spin on this staple for a sugar-reduced dessert recipe.

The double chocolate chip muffin dry ingredient blend includes:

Wet ingredients include:

  • Brown sugar
  • Allulose
  • Milk and canola oil (combined)
  • 2% Greek yogurt
  • Water
  • Egg (small amount)
  • Chocolate chips

Bake at 350°F for 20 to 22 minutes.

High protein plant-based yogurts, served with no added sugar fruit prep

Yogurts (yoghurts) are always a delightful treat if you're looking for a healthy dessert that the whole family can enjoy.

In this video, we'll hear from the Foodology by Univar Solutions EMEA team's Natalia McDonagh, Head of Marketing & Technical Sales, and Danielle Mailey, Technical Sales Manager, along with Glyn Yarnall, Product Development Chef, Bingham & Jones, as they whip up some delicious plant-based yogurt and fruit dessert combinations – one that features enzymes as the dairy alternative and the other using sugar-reduced yogurt with natural stevia flavorings.

Glyn's easy blueberry compote recipe: Cook frozen blueberries in a Thermomix (or Thermomix equivalent) at 90°C (194°F) for 10 minutes.

Learn how Univar Solutions provides enzymatic solutions for dairy products, including yogurt and cheese textures. In manufacturing and formulation, the benefits of using enzymes in dairy products include:

  • Achieving better flavors
  • Less allergenicity
  • Preservative-free
  • Suitable for organic products
  • Suitable for kosher and halal products
  • Time reduction
Hands holding a glass jar of homemade yogurtHands holding a glass jar of homemade yogurt

Chocolate mousse with reduced sugar and traditional dairy milk chocolate

Sometimes, it's okay to let ourselves indulge a little – especially when it involves chocolate! While consumers continue exploring healthy dessert recipes and embracing non-dairy-based milk solutions, many still seek out traditional dairy with less sugar.

In this demo, you'll see how the Foodology by Univar Solutions EMEA team creates a light and delicate aerated reduced-sugar chocolate mousse that doesn't lose any sweetness in its flavor profile. 

Reduced sugar mojito mocktail

After the kids are tucked away and all the gifts are finally under the tree, it's nice for parents to have a quiet moment with an adult beverage by the crackling fire. But with a dinner to prepare, getting the kids ready, or perhaps traveling, there's still so much to do, so overindulging might get you on the naughty list! Mocktails are an easy way to enjoy an adult beverage but still stay productive to power through the to-do list.

Watch as Chef Mike Haracz, Culinary Development Lead, and Charles Purcell, Senior Manager, Application Development, from our Foodology by Univar Solutions North America team, demonstrate how to concoct an alcohol-free mojito to put a refreshing and flavorful finishing touch. 

Ingredients for the mojito mocktail include:

  • Seltzer water or club soda
  • Stevia
  • Rum flavor, lime juice, mint flavor (combined)
  • Limes (3 wedges and one wheel for each glass)
  • Mint leaves
  • Ice

Connect with our global Foodology by Univar Solutions team to learn more about our ingredient and formulation solutions to create healthy desserts for any time of the year.