Rockville / MD. (pf) As the coronavirus pandemic caused lockdowns and a number of office workers relocated to working at home full-time in 2020, many consumers began to spend most of their time at home and looked for more home-based activities. Baking activity took off, and subsequently, sales of baking-related products soared by 24 percent last year to reach to USD 26.5 billion, reports Packaged Facts market research in the new report «Home Baking: U.S. Market Trends + Opportunities».
The double-digit growth in 2020 was a departure from recent market trends. From 2016 to 2019, growth in baking product sales was modest. Sales of baking staples, including products such as white granulated sugar – which tend to be lower cost – fell during this time, while other product categories experienced growth.
In 2020, baking product sales soared as more people were spending much of their time at home and looking for productive activities to occupy their time. Baking to have comfort foods in a time of stress has also been a salient trend during the pandemic. Some consumers have also looked to eat healthier during the pandemic and have turned to baking snacks and treats that are better-for-you to improve health and well-being.
«Sales are expected to continue rising in 2021 as consumers continue to work from home or spend more leisure time at home. Comfort and wellness trends that have a positive effect on baking activity are also expected to continue in 2021,» says Jennifer Mapes-Christ, food and beverage publisher for Packaged Facts.
After high sales levels seen in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, consumers are expected to engage in more activities outside the home and shift the share of food consumption toward away-from-home dining, leveling off home baking activity compared to during the pandemic, forecasts Packaged Facts. Nonetheless, sales of baking products will be higher in 2025 than in 2019 as a result of more consumers taking up home baking as an activity in the longer term after initially baking more during the pandemic. Still, the 2025 forecast is higher than it would be if the pandemic-induced changes in consumer baking activity and working from home had not occurred, as 2020 and 2021 trends will have permanent effects on some consumers’ behavior.
More good news for the home baking industry is that most consumers bake at home at least some of the time. Some 84 percent of consumers surveyed in Packaged Facts’ November-December 2020 National Online Consumer Survey reported some frequency of home baking activity. Distribution of those who bake frequently, often, or occasionally is relatively similar (22 percent, 23 percent, and 23 percent, respectively), while only 16 percent of consumers report baking rarely, and 16 percent report never baking. As such, Packaged Facts finds that 45 percent of consumers are «avid bakers» who bake at least once or twice a month. These home bakers are more likely to use most baking products and buy more baking products throughout the year to complete their baking projects.