Being housebound has made Americans hungry for comfort food.
With work schedules, fitness regimens and regular diets being turned upside amid the coronavirus pandemic, many people are reaching for sweets, junk food and other not-so nutritional items to offer up some much-needed relief from anxiety and boredom.
According to USA Today, sales of sugary cereals, crackers, baked goods and even string cheese have seen a surge in the weeks since the start of the pandemic.
Many people who might have grabbed coffee at the office or some other quick bite in the mornings are now rediscovering the joy of sitting at the table with a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Lucky Charms.
“I think families are turning to things like cereal to instill a sense of what’s familiar, what’s normal, something they trust,” said Ricardo Fernandez, president of the U.S. cereal business at General Mills.
“People who used to skip breakfast may come back to breakfast because their normal routine has been disrupted.”
Closely aligned with cereal is the sales of dairy products, which have soared by 60%. Milk does the stay-at-home body good!
Kelloggs, which makes childhood favorites like PopTarts and Frosted Flakes, has also seen an uptick in sales across all their products, according to a company spokesperson.
Salty munchies like Goldfish Crackers and Cheez-Its have seen a rise in sales by 23%.
Even Spam, the iconic canned pork meat product by Hormel, has allegedly been in “strong demand.” Who are these people?!
And with baking seeing a resurgence - take your friend’s banana bread recipe as proof - McCormick disclosed sales of their vanilla extract, a staple ingredient in many cookies and cakes, has also received a large bump.
For those hoping to salvage their waistlines during these challenging times, experts don’t think the increased love for all things decadent will last forever.
“Despite strong growth over the last few weeks, this momentum does not appear to be sustainable as people will likely have fully stocked pantries with cereal and will likely not have immediate demand for more after social distancing subsides,” said research analyst Jacqueline Hiner.
Until then, sit back, relax and enjoy!