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Let us eat cake, say girls about town

QUEEN of Tarts in Cows Lane is also experiencing an increase in the demand for cake and tea from groups of female shoppers, especially mums and daughters out for the afternoon, and for girlie outings, particularly among young pregnant women.

Manager Fianna O'Donnell says: "We offer a sense of occasion without costing anywhere near what you would pay for afternoon tea in a hotel, and business is up around 10pc on this time last year.

"Customers can select from delicious cakes presented on pretty cake stands, served on old bone china, and accompanied by a gorgeous teapot and a china cup. And all for under €10," she says.


According to Euromonitor, the chocolate market in Ireland is worth €583m and is expected to reach €631m by 2015. So we're clearly also indulging ourselves.

Grainne Burns is deputy editor of Checkout magazine, and says: "The recession has led to the rejuvenation of certain bakery products -- cupcakes, cakes, etc -- hence the number of new in-store bakery offerings in convenience stores and larger multiples.

"Consumers are seeking affordable treats for all of the family and, in response, retailers are extending this category's offerings, for example, Cuisine de France launched a new Toblerone pastry last year," she says.

"Ireland has one of the highest consumption rates of chocolate in the world with confectionery the leading grocery category [Checkout Top 100 Categories 2011]. Therefore, it is no surprise that during such harsh economic times we look to confectionery for a quick, yet satisfying treat.

"Whether it's sentiment or a longing to remember those non-recessionary times, there is a clear demand for 'traditional' confectionery lines, such as boiled sweets, that trigger an emotional feeling," says Grainne.