7 of This Week’s Most Telling Marketing Stats, From Booming Flour Sales to Gen Z’s Spending Habits

Plus, Snapchat's big first quarter

People are baking more during the pandemic, Gen Z is prepping for the future and buyers are unprepared to talk about upfronts. Getty Images
Headshot of Mónica Marie Zorrilla

Another set of days-that-feel-like-Tuesdays have passed in lockdown, and while this week either had you virtually honoring Mother Earth, anticipating the reunion of Parks and Rec’s cast, or wondering whether you really can inject yourself with disinfectant (hint: no), Adweek focused its attention on surprising data points.

These are the seven stats from the world of brands, marketing and advertising that caught our eye.

1. King Arthur’s Flour is March’s breadwinner

All of those fresh-baked loaves your friends can’t stop gushing about on Facebook are rolling in the dough for cooking brands like King Arthur Flour. Confinement has people channeling their inner Lionel Poilâne, and it’s evident in the numbers: King Arthur Flour’s sales of all-purpose and bread flour in March were up by more than 2,000% year over year. Among the most popular posts on the 230-year-old company’s revamped site is the starter recipe for sourdough, which has racked up about 1.3 million pageviews.

2. The TV industry needs a Nostradamus

According to new data from eMarketer, U.S. TV ad spending will suffer a loss of between $10 billion and $12 billion in revenue in the first half of 2020 due to Hollywood production shutdowns and vacant sports stadiums. The uncertainty of when lights and cameras will be able to take action again has buyers unprepared to talk about upfronts, predicting that negotiations will likely operate on a staggered schedule during the second half of the year.

3. Snaps for Snapchat

Covid-19 has strengthened users’ Snapchat game. During the first quarter of 2020, the feverish need to stay connected to friends and family while isolated inspired an average of 4 billion Snaps each day during the period. The split-second messaging app finished the quarter on a high note, with 229 million average daily active users (up 20% compared to Q1 2019). Snap Inc. finished the quarter with a marked year-over-year improvement of $72 million, a positive outcome in the face of a struggling economy. The company attributes part of the growth to the introductions of return-on-ad-spend bidding and the Lens Web Builder feature.

4. Gen Z is prepping for the future (and shopping for it)

Seventy-six percent of Gen Z-aged respondents to an Amplify Solutions survey indicated that they’re taking advantage of the lockdown by carving out time for personal or professional development. Considering that 22% of survey respondents reported losing a job or internship due to the pandemic, Gen Z will be spending less money online, focusing instead on cultivating fiscal responsibility, but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped spending altogether. In fact, Gen Z is more than willing to spend if it’ll help their future—37% of men and 19% of women reported spending most of their shopping budget on online courses or digital learning tools.

5. Your sleep-deprived employees are costing you money

Sleep education site SleepHelp reported that approximately 20% of salaried American employees are having trouble sleeping because of concerns over Covid-19. Sleep deprivation, whether it be from fewer opportunities to exercise, blue-spectrum lights or stress, drains motivation and productivity. In turn, you’re left with a legion of zombie staffers, which can actually have economic consequences. The Rand Corporation found that American industry loses somewhere around 1.2 million working days because of exhausted employees.

6. Joe Exotic, Netflix King

As people worldwide hunkered down on their couches to hide from an invisible and highly infectious threat, Netflix subscriptions soared. Binge-watching lockdown hits like Tiger King resulted in the streaming service adding more than 15.7 million subscribers globally in its most recent quarter, increasing its total global membership base to 182.9 million. This bump will likely level out when things “return to normal,” but for now, Netflix is keeping us safely glued to our screens.

7. Covid-19’s impact on the travel industry will be “nine times worse than 9/11”

Nearly eight in 10 hotel rooms in the United States are empty, Delta’s airline passenger traffic is currently down by 95% and the travel sector unemployment figure is around 22 million. Needless to say, Covid-19’s impact on the industry has not been pleasant. Per the U.S. Travel Association, the challenges posed by the pandemic on travelers will be “nine times worse than 9/11” on the industry.

International visitor spending fell $25.2 billion following the attacks of September 11, 2001. In contrast, the ongoing Covid-19 crisis is projected to cost the travel industry $519 billion in domestic travel spending. Of that $519 billion revenue loss, $116 billion would have come from international visitors.


@monicroqueta monica.zorrilla@adweek.com Mónica is a breaking news reporter at Adweek.
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