According to The NPD Group, print unit sales for bread cookbooks in the United States grew 145 percent year over year, for the nine months ending September 2020. As the coronavirus pandemic shelter at home orders and restaurants closures forced more people to cook at home more, many turned to baking and bread-making as a way to pass the time and learn a new cooking skill.

The NPD Group finds that 200,000 more bread cookbooks have been sold in the US in 2020 than were in 2019. That is part of a larger trend, as there was a 15 percent increase in overall print cookbook sales compared to 2019.

“Many people found more time to cook when pandemic mitigation efforts began, which led to more experimentation and increasingly complex meals,” says 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.”

“The strong 2020 growth in cookbooks makes sense given the fact that consumers are cooking many more meals at home,” McLean adds. “Now that we are eight months into the pandemic, with colder weather on the way that may continue to restrict dine-in options at restaurants, we expect cookbook sales to remain strong for the foreseeable future as people seek variety in their day to day meals.”