I was watching the TV show Black-ish a few weeks ago, and they decided to incorporate COVID-19 into the show—which I suppose makes sense, since Rainbow, one of the main characters, is a doctor. Her husband Dre (Andre), an advertising professional, is forced to work at home during the pandemic, and they've been getting grocery deliveries instead of going out to the store.
Dre thinks he's finally getting into a pandemic groove of sorts, but then something tragic happens: in his grocery delivery, he receives store-brand chocolate cookies, instead of the name-brand OREOs that he ordered.
He literally throws a fit (see video clip below) and we witness a grown man having a tantrum ... all because the one comfort food he wanted, OREOs, wasn't what he received in his delivery order.
We can all relate to this: the pandemic can be confusing and scary at times, and sometimes all we want is the taste of something familiar, like our favorite brand of cookies, to soothe us.
Pillsbury recently released a poll showing that consumers have been craving more baked goods during the pandemic, as well as what we deem "comfort foods." 26 percent of Americans have been craving more baked goods than they normally would, over the past six months, and more than one in four Americans are eating more baked goods as a result of the pandemic. Cookies led the way with 57 percent, followed by bread (50 percent), and cake (42 percent), topping the list.
The ongoing pandemic has sparked a rise in consumers’ cravings for familiar comfort foods and indulgent items like baked goods with about a quarter of Americans (26 percent) craving more baked goods than they normally would over the past six months. According to a nationwide survey conducted by The Harris Poll and commissioned by General Mills Foodservice, more than one in four Americans (28 percent) are eating more baked goods as a result of the pandemic over the past six months. Items such as cookies (57 percent), bread (50 percent) and cake (42 percent) top the list of baked goods Americans have been eating as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past six months.
Results from the poll show that among consumers who are eating more baked goods in the past six months as a result of COVID-19 are doing so because they crave sweet things (48 percent), to get a sense of comfort (42 percent) or induce happiness (41 percent). More than a quarter (27 percent) said it is because they are giving themselves permission to indulge right now.
A different survey actually showed that COVID-19 snacking increased more among women, but actually led to trying new brands. Chips were the leading snack brand for both sexes, with 38 percent of women and 33 percent of men reaching for a bag of chips during the pandemic.
Additional findings from the research included that those who snacked more during COVID were more likely to have reported trying new brands; some of this was due to value-seeking, aka trading down to less expensive brands or products during the pandemic.
So perhaps Dre should try those private label chocolate cookies next time, in lieu of his favorite OREOs—who knows, perhaps he might even like them more than the name brand.