Infographic: Shopping for Flour? Sure, So Is the Rest of America

Baking goods are flying off the shelves along with disinfectant cleaners

cashier with face mask ringing up groceries
People are shopping less, but buying more groceries—especially flour and mixes. Carlos Monteiro
Headshot of Ko Im

It’s safe to assume homemade dessert has become a commodity. In recent weeks, sales of nearly all baking products are through the roof. Flour (up 203% year over year); baking chocolate and cocoa (156%); baking powder and baking soda (136%); and mixes like brownies, cookies and bars (164%) are up more than refrigerated cookie and brownie dough (84%). That’s according to Catalina, a data and insights firm that looks at shopping behavior.

For the week ending April 25, total grocery sales were up 25% over the same period a year ago, and baking and cooking seem to be providing greater comfort than ever. Eight of the top 10 categories are baking related. (The others are cleaning supplies and meat substitutes.)

“People are craving both comfort food and moments of connection that baking is now providing in kitchens all over the country,” said Marta Cyhan, CMO, Catalina. “As the world starts to slowly emerge on the other side of the pandemic and the effects of the recession start to take hold, customers will need even more value and moments of comfort.”

Catalina encourages retailers to purposefully engage with new and existing buyers to continue to build loyalty and growth. While shoppers continue to make fewer trips to the grocery story (down 16% year over year), they are spending much more. Compared with 2019, average basket size is up 50%.

And what about cleaning up kitchen messes? Disinfectant cleaner sales are up nearly 300% through the last week of April.

This story first appeared in the May 4, 2020, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

@koimtv Ko Im is the community editor at Adweek and co-host of Adweek's podcast Yeah, That's Probably an Ad.