Trend Watch: Consumers Eating More Baked Goods During Pandemic

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Pillsbury™ shares strategies to help foodservice operators appeal to patrons’ evolving tastes and bake up more sales.

The ongoing pandemic has sparked a rise in consumers’ cravings for familiar comfort foods and indulgent items like baked goods. According to a nationwide survey conducted by The Harris Poll and commissioned by General Mills Convenience & Foodservice, more than one in four Americans are eating more baked goods, as a result of the pandemic over the past six months.

 

Results show consumers who are eating more baked goods in the past six months, as a result of COVID-19, are doing so because: they crave sweet things, to get a sense of comfort, or induce happiness. More than a quarter said it is because they are giving themselves permission to indulge right now.

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Tips to Bake Up More Sales

  • Bake up happiness—give patrons more of what they want by menuing a variety of the top baked goods that consumers are seeking right now.
  • Promote items baked fresh onsite: use social media, menu boards, signage and more to let your customers know that items are baked fresh onsite.
  • Showtime! Shine the spotlight on bakery items: display baked goods near the cash register and offer free, bite-size samples, if possible.
  • Smell sells—keep a batch of cinnamon rolls baking to create an enticing aroma.
  • Add “Now and Later” specials or takeaway items: Offer consumers opportunities to purchase an extra loaf of bread or a dozen of cookies, muffins, or cinnamon rolls to take home and enjoy later or share with others.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll, a market research and global consulting firm, on behalf of General Mills Foodservice from September 16-18, 2020 among 2,053 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact General Mills Foodservice.