The ultimate comfort snack boost to banish coronavirus blues?

12 Apr 2020
The ultimate comfort snack boost to banish coronavirus blues?
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The ultimate comfort snack boost to banish coronavirus  blues?

Happy Easter from BakeryandSnacks. Pic: GettyImages/istetiana

Most people won’t be spending this Easter with important family and friends – thanks to the coronavirus crisis – but that’s not going to stop them from being more tempted than usual to bake up an aromatic batch of steaming hot cross buns, says Mintel.
A large majority of the younger generation of Brits say they are really embracing the quality time they are now spending with friends and family as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. According to research by Mintel conducted between March 26 and April 1, 2020, almost half (45%) of 16-24-year-olds have enjoyed the additional quality time. The older generation is also taking advantage of connecting more, with 36% of Brits aged 65+ claiming to spend more time chatting on video calls.
The crisis has also brought more people together in the kitchen. Mintel’s research found that 44% of Brits have done more cooking since the start of the crisis, with those aged 25-34 (52%) most likely to have taken to their kitchens.
Paul Davies, Mintel Leisure Category director, said, “More people working at home because of the lockdown means more time for home cooking, and there’s an inevitable tendency for people to try to eat as well as possible during a time of elevated fears over health and wellbeing.”

Baking boom in the time of COVID-19

The crisis has seen a significant increase in the number of home bakers wanting to keep quarantine boredom at bay, pushing the country into a flour shortage.
The urge to keep on baking is expected to be as strong as ever over the next few days, and the focus will quite possibly shift from bread to hot cross buns – touted to be consumers’ favourite Easter treat in self-isolation by Mintel.
These traditional yeast buns – marked with a white cross to represent the crucifixion of Jesus Christ – were reportedly developed by an Anglican monk in the 14th​ century to give to the poor on Good Friday.
Their popularity has risen – especially in countries like the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa and some parts of the Americas – and today, many retail outlets begin stocking them as early as December.
Typically made with sweet spices and dried fruit – and maybe the occasional chocolate or fruitless variant – there has been an explosion of flavour experimentation.
For example, according to Mintel’s Global New Products Data, Marks and Spencer in the UK has recently launched its first savoury hot cross bun – a chilli and cheese variant made with jalapeno and chipotle chillies for those who prefer a fiery kick, while Australian retailer Woolworths teamed up with confectionery brand Darrell Lea to develop a mocha hot cross bun.
Snacks in other categories are also jumping on the hot cross bun bandwagon, with many coming up with limited-time offers to coincide with Easter, such as Coles Hot Cross Bun Popcorn, Müller Light Hot Cross Bun Flavour Yogurt and Sainsbury’s Hot Cross Bun Tea bag infusion.

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