Pandemic Prompts 9% Increase in Household Spending On All Things Sweet

Since the start of the pandemic, American consumers have indulged their sweet tooth, according to NCSolutions, a company consumer packaged goods firms for improving advertising effectiveness.

Household spending on confections, baked goods and baking supplies was 9% higher from February 24, the first notable day of increased purchasing of consumer packaged goods, through September 30 when compared to the same period in 2019.

The confections and baked goods and supplies category includes bakery desserts, baking mixes, chocolate and non-chocolate candy, cookies, frozen baked goods, ice cream, marshmallows, pie crusts and mixes, pie fillings, puddings and gelatins, snack cakes and sugar.

Though Americans joked about needing even more chocolate as COVID-19 upended routines, the data support the lighthearted commentary.

NCS has defined distinct periods of COVID-19 buying based on consumer spending behavior.

During the Extreme-Buying phase between March 11 and March 21, consumers spent 26% more specifically on chocolate candy, and over the entire pandemic period (ending September 30), household spending on this item continues to be 4% higher than 2019.

Household spending on other sweet and dessert items have sustained elevated levels throughout the pandemic, especially products used for baking.

Americans turned to baking their own cakes and cookies, and sales of baking mixes and sugar surged early in the pandemic.

Sales of baking mixes are 38% higher than 2019, after spiking 159% during the Extreme-Buying stage.

Likewise, sales of sugar are 26% higher than the same period last year, after they jumped 118% during Extreme Buying. Pie ingredients are also higher.

Since the start of the pandemic, household spending on pie filling is up 35% and spending on pie crusts and mixes is 23% higher.

Prepared food items have also seen a rise in popularity. Americans purchased more frozen baked goods (up 25% over the pandemic period as compared to 2019), desserts (19%), ice cream (16%) and cookies (9%).

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