bake - July/August 2020 - 37

role during these current challenging times. Snack food consumption has increased by 8% during the pandemic as consumers seek comfort through sweet and savory snacks, according
to NPD's Snack Food Behaviors in Challenging Times study.
During the Great Recession, between 2008 and 2010, snack
foods increased by 4.8 billion eatings, a 1% increase.  
In April, during the height of the shelter-at-home orders, 37%
of consumers told NPD they wanted to make sure they had sufficient snack foods on hand. In many cases, the more snack

"We've seen consumers turn to
indulgent snack foods in other
challenging times, and although
history isn't repeating itself
during COVID, it is rhyming."
Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst

food packages in the home, the more frequently the item is
consumed, which tends to be especially true of certain types of
snack foods.

"The technology is out there. Now it is how quickly can we roll

"We've seen consumers turn to indulgent snack foods in other

this out," Zietz says. "This type of technology is not that expen-

challenging times, and although history isn't repeating itself dur-

sive, and it's also important to note that kiosks have the ability

ing COVID, it is rhyming," says Darren Seifer, NPD food and bev-

to accept cash and credit cards. With smaller independents who

erage industry analyst.

are more reactive, this is moving very quickly."

Cake trends

leased new research analyzing the current economic environ-

As for trends specific to cakes, experts predict that smaller cakes

ment compared to that of the Great Recession, including insight

and less elaborate designs are expected to gain popularity in

on the economic indicators that will play a role in predicting

the near future. The cake sector took an immediate, double-digit

consumer spending in the months and years ahead. While the

sales hit during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, but

economy is in decline, the factors leading to the last recession,

then began to show signs of recovery. Zietz of Grubbrr predicts

its duration, and lasting impact on consumers are (and will be)

that kiosks and mobile ordering will become widespread prac-

very different this time around.

©DAVIT85 - STOCK.ADOBE.COM

Consumer research supports his views. Mintel recently re-

tices in the near future. He sees the need for an omnichannel ap-

"As the economic implications of COVID-19 unfold, Ameri-

proach to the situation in which there is expanded room for new

cans are simultaneously dealing with not only immediate con-

technologies to be incorporated into the marketplace.

cerns around physical health and lifestyle changes but also

"We are going to see a significant increase in food lockers.

longer-term concerns about their financial health," says Fiona

Now I can place an order online, and lockers can be refriger-

O'Donnell, director, Mintel Reports US. "Expect to see consum-

ated," Zietz says.

ers evaluate their lifestyles and reduce discretionary spending.

It remains to be seen how the cake segment will work in this

With economic recovery contingent on COVID-19 containment,

future, but standard designed cakes will certainly be stored in

consumer confidence will lag, followed by a sharp contraction

lockers in the future, retailers predict.

later this year."

bakemag.com | JUL-AUG 2020 > 37


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bake - July/August 2020

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