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With 2020 in the rearview mirror and a light at the end of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s time to take a look at how the pandemic and the challenges of last year impacted consumer buying habits and what the future may hold. In this episode of Since Sliced Bread, Tim Grzebinski, client insights leader, IRI, breaks down the data for the 2020 calendar year for the bread, roll, bun, tortillas and flatbread categories.

While it’s obvious to anyone who shopped for groceries in 2020 that these bakery staples were in high demand, there were some nuances to how that sales data shook out.

“When you look at many categories in general, a lot of them had a big increase in new buyers who contributed to that growth,” Mr. Grzebinski said. “But it was a little different for bread and rolls. About $1.8 billion of growth was driven by retained buyers who purchased more. That’s existing buyers who bought more bread and rolls than they did a year ago. That’s a different dynamic than what we saw across the store.”

In this episode, not only does Mr. Grzebinski provide data analysis, but Luc Mongeau, president of Weston Foods, Toronto, and Tim Lotesto, senior director of national retail accounts, Alpha Baking Co., Chicago, share their companies’ sales experiences from last year.


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