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NPD: Bread-Centric Cookbook Sales Take The Cake

According to the NPD Group, print unit sales for bread cookbooks in the U.S. grew 145% year over year, for the nine months ending September 2020, echoing the shift in cooking and eating habits that took place during the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“Many people found more time to cook when pandemic mitigation efforts began, which led to more experimentation and increasingly complex meals,” said Kristen McLean, books industry analyst for NPD. “Baking offered a comforting escape and yeast suddenly became more difficult to find than toilet paper. Sales of bread cookbooks are still well above 2019 levels, and given that the pandemic is still with us, the bread-baking trend could be sticking around for a while.”

According to the report, sales of healthy cooking methods, and vegetarian cooking all fell between March 1 and April 25, 2020 as COVID-19 hit the U.S., but they started to rebound after that. This, said NPD, was due to consumers figuring out their “new normal” after realizing social distancing would be a long-term issue.

Cookbook sales as a whole, said NPD, have continued to rise. As consumers were making more meals at home, cookbook sales saw a 15% increase in overall print sales compared to 2019.

The second volume of “Magnolia Table,” by Joanna Gaines led overall cookbook category sales this year. Bar and cocktail books also saw major growth, as did cookbooks touting plant-based meals.

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