10 New Guilty Pleasures in Baked Goods

Baked goods and sweet snacks are among the top food options that rule the night. A new Harris Poll online survey, conducted on behalf of a food processor and reflecting input from 2,000 U.S. adults, took a close look at consumers’ nighttime snacking tendencies and how the snack choices help determine sleep quality.

Commissioned on behalf of Nightfood Inc., an ice cream supplier based in Tarrytown, N.Y., the poll indicated that 83% of U.S. consumers say they snack at least one night a week, while 20% snack every night.

The most popular nighttime snack choices are salty snacks, selected by 84% of consumers and led by chips, popcorn and pretzels. Other favorites include baked goods (80%, led by cookies, cakes and doughnuts), candy (76%, led by chocolate, gummies and hard candies) and ice cream (75%).

“Bringing these percentages into actual numbers projects to hundreds of millions of nighttime snack occasions per week in the United States,” said Nightfood CEO Sean Folkson. “Twenty percent of U.S. adult consumers report snacking every night, so that alone would project to more than 350 million snacking occasions weekly. Add to that all the people who snack some or most nights, and then the sporadic people, and you’re potentially going to double that number.”

The poll also revealed that 51% of U.S. consumers who snack at night believe that unhealthy night snacking is a major challenge for them, with 58% wishing they felt more in control of nighttime snacking, and 54% reporting often feeling guilty about nighttime snack choices. Sixty-four percent report eating healthier earlier in the day than they do closer to bedtime.

Click through for a look at innovative baked goods that launched during the second half of 2019.

Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Prairie City Bakery

Introduced in December, Prairie City Down Home Delights Delectable Dessert Bars are available in Chocolate Almond Coconut, Oatmeal Carmelita and Apple Cinnamon Crumble flavors. Inspired by homemade desserts, Down Home Delights Delectable Dessert Bars come individually wrapped for an SRP range of $1.59 to $1.79. The snacks come in 10-pack merchandisers with a 30-day ambient shelf life.

Photograph courtesy of Prairie City Bakery

2. Aryzta LLC

Mette Munk-branded Danish pastries from Aryzta LLC debuted in June. The authentic pastry line, originating in Denmark, contains quality ingredients sourced globally, offering to customers a made-from-scratch appeal, according to the company. Mette Munk Danish pastries are made with real fruit, free-range eggs, certified sustainable palm oil, real bourbon vanilla and pure maple syrup.

Photograph courtesy of Aryzta LLC

3. St Pierre

In June, St Pierre expanded its indulgent bakery portfolio with a collection of 10 individually wrapped, European-inspired snacks that combine favorites such as waffles and crepes with new innovations such as the Rocky Road Bar and Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bar. The on-the-go snacks also include Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bar, Caramel Cake Bar, Butter Belgian Waffle, Cinnamon Belgian Waffle, Butter Belgian Waffle With Chocolate Coating, Caramel Waffle, Chocolate & Hazelnut Rolled Crepe and Cinnamon Rolled Crepe. St Pierre On the Go products are shipped frozen, and each product has a 28-day ambient shelf life. The SRP range for these snacks is 99 cents to $2.49.

Photograph courtesy of St Pierre

4. Drake’s

Drake’s Cookies & Creme Brownies combine two classic treats—brownies and cookies—in one sweet snack. It features fudge brownies covered with white icing and topped with chocolate cookie crumbles. Drake’s Cookies & Creme Brownies are available in various retail channels, including convenience stores, throughout the Eastern U.S. The brownies are certified kosher.

Photograph courtesy of Drake’s

5. Optimum Nutrition

Containing fewer than 210 calories per serving, On Nature Bites from Optimum Nutrition rolled out in August. The treats feature a coating of dark chocolate with a rich, whipped center of plant-based protein and no artificial flavors. They are available in Dark Chocolate Truffle, Chocolate Coconut, Chocolate Mint and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt flavors. Each two-piece serving of Nature Bites delivers 14 grams of complete plant-based protein, 6 grams of sugar and 26 grams of carbohydrates.

Photograph courtesy of Optimum Nutrition

6. Rule Breaker Snacks

In September, Rule Breaker Snacks introduced Rule Breaker Bites. A bite-sized version of its blondies and brownies, Rule Breaker Bites are available in Deep Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Chip Blondie and Birthday Cake flavors. The bites are 100% plant-based (vegan), gluten-, nut-, preservative- and dairy-free, plus certified kosher and non-GMO. The company also debuted a new recipe for its P’Nutter Chocolate Chip Blondie, which offers a classic taste of chocolate and peanut butter but now without nuts.

Photograph courtesy of Rule Breaker Snacks

7. Rich’s Foodservice

Rich’s Individually Wrapped Specialty Sandwich Cookies from Rich’s Foodservice offer a cleaner label with no artificial flavors, colors or high fructose corn syrup. Available in Chocolate Chip Cookie or Sugar Cookie With Rainbow Sprinkles flavors, the sweet snacks feature butter creme icing sandwiched between two soft cookies and ringed with chocolate chips or sprinkles covering the sides. The cookies arrive fully baked, individually wrapped, prelabeled and ready for grab-and-go sale. They have a 21-day refrigerated/ambient shelf life, and they are available in a 12-count display case for an SRP of $1.99.

Photograph courtesy of Rich’s Foodservice

8. NuGo Nutrition

In October, NuGo Nutrition introduced the only vegan and low-sugar protein cookie, NuGo Perfect Cookie, available in Dark Chocolate Chip, Double Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Lemon Poppy Seed flavors. Soft, chewy and baked similar to a fresh homemade cookie, the 50-gram, single-serving cookie contains less than 1 gram of sugar, 10 grams of plant protein and 11 grams of fiber. With no artificial sweeteners, palm oil or margarine, NuGo Perfect Cookies contain plant protein, MCT oils and natural sweeteners.

Photograph courtesy of NuGo Nutrition

9. Jim Buddy

Jim Buddy’s Protein Donuts are the first high-protein and low-calorie doughnut that’s baked, according to the company. The doughnuts have 160 calories or fewer per serving, 6 grams or less of sugar and 11 to 14 grams of protein. As the Jim Buddy’s Protein Donuts brand enters the U.S. market, the line has been refreshed to emphasize modern packaging, the company says.

Photograph courtesy of Jim Buddy

10. Sweet Street Desserts

In mid-November, Sweet Street Desserts debuted Manifesto Individually Wrapped Cookies and Bars, both made from simple ingredients that include pure cane sugar, cage-free eggs and sustainably grown chocolate. The bars come in Chewy Marshmallow With Brown Butter, and Sea Salt flavors; cookie flavors are Salted Caramel (buttery sweet with a salty crunch), Toffee Crunch, Sustainable Peruvian Chocolate and Sandy’s Amazing Chocolate Chunk.

Photograph courtesy of Sweet Street Desserts