Year In Review: Cookies

by Shastri Mahadeo

2 Minutes

The following insights are powered by Nielsen in partnership with Unioncrate, an artificial intelligence demand planning platform that combines consumer behavior and historical shipment data to predict sales and inventory with up to SKU-level 91.6% accuracy.


Welcome to Day 3 of Unioncrate’s Year In Review. Today we look at the highs and lows that brought growth in the Cookies category to 8.7% YOY in 2020.


  • When lockdowns went into place in March and we all gained 24/7 access to our kitchen pantries, consumers reached for their favorite cookies to munch on and helped grow the category by 11.3% since then.
  • With the holidays in the rearview mirror when the pandemic hit, gingerbread cookies didn’t get to reap the sales increases that other categories did, dropping 15.4% in the 4-week period ended 3/21, while vanilla wafer cookies took the crown for highest growth that month with a 38.8% increase in sales during the same period.
  • Butter cookies were a consistent favorite during the pandemic, remaining in double-digit positive growth since March and reaching as high as 35.3% growth in the 4-week period ended 5/16, one of the highest growth rates in the entire category during Covid-19.
A basket of chocolate chip cookies [Unioncrate]

Sweet Category, Sweeter Highlights

  • Milk Bar made it easier than ever to satisfy dessert cravings by securing two key partnerships, one with Target and one with goPuff, to sell their cookies and make the day sweeter. 
  • Oreo announced the 2021 arrival of two gluten-free versions of their classic cookie, expanding its reach into a fast-growing dietary claim category.
  • Keebler used 2020 as an opportunity to debut a new look and update their recipes, focusing on tapping into its nostalgic past with an emphasis on using more natural ingredients, a change sure to delight fans young and old.
  • Perhaps the only door-to-door salespeople we’re excited to see, the Girls Scouts of America switched up their cookie sales technique this year and went the pandemic-friendly route, offering online ordering and the option to donate boxes of cookies to first responders and healthcare workers across the country. 

Up Next: Deodorant

About Unioncrate

Unioncrate is an AI-powered Supply Chain Planning Platform that gives CPG brands the technology they need to compete and win in a rapidly changing consumer landscape. Our automated demand and supply forecasts deliver unmatched accuracy, collaborative visibility, and actionable intelligence, simplifying a manual-heavy process and slashing hours from your week.

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