Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery was recently able to talk to Melissa Trimmer, CEPC, Dawn Foods, about experiential desserts for Valentine's Day as well as some upcoming trends for this year's holiday.

Liz Parker: What are “experiential desserts”?

Melissa Trimmer: Experiential desserts offer a tactile way for people to connect with their favorite sweet treats. These desserts can be anything interactive, such as pull me up glitter cakes that are currently trending on TikTok, DIY dessert charcuterie boards that let customers experiment with flavors and treats, eye-catching hot chocolate bombs, and take-home dessert decorating kits. Bakers should experiment and have fun with these products. The desserts that are creative and engaging are the ones most in demand as bakers prepare for Valentine’s Day.   


LP: How can bakeries create their own take on experiential desserts with a twist for Valentine’s Day?

MT: Coming off the busy holiday season, Valentine’s Day offers bakeries a time to capitalize on the popular holiday for dessert purchases. To create their own take on experiential desserts, bakers should look within their own display cases. Take the most popular selling desserts and put an experiential and Valentine’s Day twist on them. For example, if your bakery is known for making amazing macarons, consider creating a take-home macaron building kit in Valentine’s Day colors. Also, bakers should look at what is happening within their own neighborhood to gain inspiration. Collaborating with another local business to create a Valentine’s Day dessert or gift package allows bakers to expand their reach.   


LP: When did dessert charcuterie boards become popular?

MT: Dessert charcuterie boards started to gain popularity in 2020, as people were at home and looking for new ways to stay entertained. Today, this trend can now be seen all over social media. The boards are an approachable dessert and activity for the at-home chef. Consumers can find different elements for their boards at their local bakery or the grocery store and put them together in a way that’s unique to them and social media worthy. 


LP: What flavors will be trending for this year’s Valentine’s Day?

MT: Valentine’s Day is the holiday for all things chocolate. As consumers are interested in trying new and exciting chocolate experiences, bakeries are elevating their chocolate desserts to take chocolate to the next level. We are seeing bakeries get creative with their flavor combinations, offering white chocolate and lychee, ruby chocolate with berries, and chocolate with chilis, just to name a few. 

Flavors that are a twist on traditional comfort foods are also continuing to trend, as noted in Dawn’s 2022 trends report. As many yearn for a sense of familiarity in their desserts, flavors like s’mores and butterscotch will be popular sellers for bakeries this year.