Canva - Family Baking Cookies at Home

While the “made from scratch” baking trend was increasing even before the pandemic locked us all inside, baking’s popularity has soared this spring during COVID-19 lockdowns. As one of the top four most commonly used baking ingredients, along with butter, flour and oil, this means more people have been using sugar. As of May 2020, sugar and flour sales have jumped by 130% and 221% respectively since this time a year ago, according to Winsight Grocery data.

 

Beyond sales data, social media and online search trends are another way to measure the uptick in baking during quarantine. Conversations about baking and sharing recipes on social media more than doubled from mid-March to mid-April with consumers using hashtags like #QuarantineKitchen to share what was keeping them busy during mandated social distancing.

 

While both men and women are involved in the trending baking conversation on social media (58% female, 42% male), almost 50% of the audience is between the ages of 18-24. Many people who have never baked before are also testing their kitchen skills. First-time bakers are a significant part of the conversation with over 263,700 social media mentions of first-time baking during the first week of May.

The Sugar Association hosted an Instagram Baking Photo Contest to find out what consumers were baking up in their #QuarantineKitchen. In just 15 days, there were over 1,700 participants including first time bakers and family’s baking together. Entries consisted of photos and videos of baked goods ranging from homemade pizza to themed cookies and cakes.

Baking is one of the ways to create memories and keep up family traditions, things that are more important than ever during a time we can’t be together with loved ones. Sharing recipes and pictures of tasty results of hard work in the kitchen is also a way to connect with the outside world – which is really needed right now!

In an Instagram poll with over 1,000 respondents 97% shared that they have been baking more during quarantine and 98% said they will keep baking after quarantine. We’re glad baking’s moment in the sun isn’t ending anytime soon and, instead, the love for baking is becoming a positive outcome of these strange times. For now, keep on baking and enjoying the delicious treats, in moderation of course.

Find some great recipes for home bakers of all levels from the Home Baking Association.

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