‘Tis The Season For Giving.. Cookies?

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s marks a time to celebrate with family, friends and colleagues in ways we don’t during other times in the year. Many of these celebrations center around feasts that often put turkey and ham in the spotlight, but no gathering is ever truly complete without an assortment of baked goodies as well.

A strong majority of Americans agree, as 80% buy or make baked goods, according to a recent survey asking what they plan to buy or make during the November/December holiday season. Nearly 50% of households will make cookies, and 42% will make another kind of sweet, such as cupcakes or brownies. But not everyone is an avid baker, and shoppers aren’t shunning pre-made options. A quarter of households still plan to purchase store-made cookies and another quarter preferred to buy their Thanksgiving pie pre-made.

While it might seem like in-store bakery, commercial and homemade all compete for slices of the same pie, Nielsen’s Total Food View shows that sales in each of these areas don’t automatically reduce sales in another. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are the top three sales weeks for fresh baked store-bought goods. Not coincidentally, however, sales spike for baking mixes and supplies, refrigerated doughs and even grocery cookies during these same three weeks. So which do consumers prefer—homemade or pre-made? As it turns out, both. Just for different uses.

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