When the coronavirus pandemic began earlier this year, grocery shoppers across the U.S. developed a big sweet tooth. Items such as flour, eggs, and other baking ingredients flew off of shelves. New data shows just how many sweet items are still being bought months later. Too much sugar has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other health issues.
During a 10-day period between March 11 and 21, sales of baking mixes skyrocketed 159%, and sales of sugar jumped 118%, according to newly released data from NCSolutions (NCS). Spending on baking mixes increased 38% from late February through the end of September. Sugar sales went up by 26%, desserts by 19%, ice cream by 16%, and cookies by 10%. (Related: Is sugar one of the 8 Grocery Items That May Soon Be in Short Supply?)
"Traditionally, spending on sweets during this time of year rises. Sweets such as chocolate, cakes, and pies are a significant element of holiday celebrations, starting with Halloween and continuing through New Year's Day," NCS CEO Linda Dupree says. "This annual trend, coupled with the pandemic-driven sustained interest in cooking and baking, indicates that consumer enthusiasm for the category will remain strong."
This prediction may mean negative results not only for your health but also your bank account. The average cost of groceries is about 5% higher right now than it was a year ago, according to the market research firm IRI. In general, there are fewer sales taking place. That means you'll continue to pay more for many sweet treats as the holidays get closer.
Then there's the issue of what eating sugar does to your body. In addition to potentially making symptoms of things like inflammatory bowel diseases worse, it can also increase the risk of certain cancers.
As winter approaches, it may be time to cut out or reduce the number of overrated sugary items you buy at the grocery store. Not sure how to do this? Here's what happens when you give up sugar for two weeks.