How to use consumer trends to turn your dessert menu and cake cabinet into a money-maker

Priestley's Choc Salted Caramel Tart and how to use consumer trends to make money

The dessert cabinet and menu are often overlooked in hospitality venues. Many menus stick with the classic brownie or vanilla slice. Whilst these are always going to be customer favourites and a venue staple, why not look beyond? With social media driving so many trends in fashion, beauty and lifestyle, it’s no surprise that consumers demand rapid change and innovation from their favourite cafés, restaurants and pubs and clubs. Now more than ever, consumer trends and preferences are constantly changing. 

Priestley’s Gourmet Delights shares insights from their network of over 12,000 foodservice businesses combined with key industry research to outline what consumers are hungry for and how to set your dessert menu and cake cabinet up for success in 2024 and beyond.


Leading consumer food research authority, Mintel reveals that in 2023, a staggering 50% of Australians are grappling with future-related stress, sparking a notable trend in finding solace through nostalgic culinary experiences. So, what’s the takeaway for your dessert menu? The adage “old is new again” takes centre stage. Amid hectic and intricate lives, compounded by the mounting cost of living, consumers are yearning for a trip down memory lane to simpler times. This translates into a desire for traditional flavours such as caramel, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla and childhood favourites, but with a contemporary twist – welcome to the era of new-stalgia.

Bite-sized indulgences

Snacking has become an integral part of our daily lives, with >70% of Australians admitting to snacking at least once daily. More and more consumers are looking to snack more over sitting down for large meals – but that doesn’t mean they don’t want an indulgent treat. Particularly favoured by Gen Z and Millennials, these demographics relish small, affordable luxuries that satiate their cravings without denting their wallets. Opting for a coffee and cake from their favourite café often holds more appeal than regular dining experiences at upscale restaurants. For venue owners, this signals a golden opportunity to shine with a thoughtfully curated cake cabinet. Think of petite delights like individual tarts or cakes – easy to enjoy, pairing seamlessly with coffee or tea. These cabinet gems not only draw customers through the doors but also serve as an instant revenue boost.

Elevate the eating experience

In the competitive landscape of hospitality, enticing customers with dessert offerings can be a challenge. The key lies in creating captivating and immersive eating experiences that offer customers a genuine sense of value for their money. Venue owners and chefs should be asking themselves: Do the desserts have textural variety? How effectively do they engage the senses?

Consider how each dessert item can give a unique experience to your customers that will get them coming back for more. An effective strategy is to incorporate textural and flavour contrasts into your menu items (think crunchiness paired with softness or salt intertwined with sweetness). Additionally, surprise and delight your customers by introducing unexpected elements, such as injections or fillings within the desserts. 

How Priestley’s Gourmet Delights created the perfect dessert to satisfy consumer cravings in 2024 and beyond

Priestley’s Gourmet Delights puts these trends at the forefront of innovation, using primary research from its network of foodservice venues across Australia and industry insights to bring hospitality business owners desserts that are not only delicious but are a guaranteed money maker. Their latest creation, the Choc Salted Caramel Tart (217325) is the perfect example of combining the consumer demand for modern twists on old favourites, bite-sized indulgences and textural excitement. 

This indulgent creation is individually portioned, perfect for serving straight from the cabinet by pairing it with coffee or tea or dressing up with ice cream and caramel shards to create a next-level dessert customers will love. The Choc Salted Caramel Tart (217325) takes the eating experience to new heights, seamlessly blending nostalgia and textural innovation. Break through the crispy chocolate shell and silky ganache adorned with crunchy chocolate wafer pearls to reveal the oozy salted caramel filling, inspired by the timeless Australian chocolates, Caramello Koala and Rollo.

This creation is the perfect example of how to use trends and consumer preferences to create the ultimate dessert that is the perfect revenue booster for hospitality venues. 

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Priestley's Choc Salted Caramel Tart and how to use consumer trends to make money

Priestley’s Gourmet Delights Choc Salted Caramel Tart (217325) features a delicate, crunchy chocolate tart shell, filled with luscious, salted caramel, layered with smooth dark chocolate ganache, and topped with crispy chocolate coated wafer pearls. Serve this delightful indulgence as is from the cake cabinet or create a show-stopping dessert menu item by adding vanilla bean ice cream, caramel sauce and sea salt.