Shop stocks are soaring in New York and Los Angeles, with most of the country’s top cookie shops reporting strong sales.
Candyland in New Jersey, which makes popular Oreo cookie bars, said it sold more than 3.6 million cookies last year.
It also reported that its customers have also been purchasing new products, including a new candy bar, as well as chocolate bars, jellybeans, and other sweets.
Candy-coated marshmallow cookies are also popular.
Coca-Cola in Boston said its grocery store sales jumped 25 percent last year, and it reported a 7.4 percent jump in sales of sugar cookies and pretzels.
Macy’s reported a 26 percent jump, and Burger King said its stores saw a 7 percent increase in sales last year as shoppers spent more time in the store and bought fewer goods.
(AP: Dan Kitwood/The Washington Post) The biggest spike in sales occurred at stores that sell packaged goods like food, clothing and household items, said Nancy Tilton, director of consumer information research at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Most of the gains in the cookie industry came from the sale of sugar, chocolate and other treats, said Jennifer O’Malley, senior vice president of marketing for Kellogg’s, which operates the Cookie Monster brand.
While cookies are typically sold in a handful of locations, many companies are now offering online ordering, which is cheaper and faster, she said.
In New York City, stores selling cookies also saw a 15 percent jump last year over last, with more than 4 million people purchasing cookies.
Cookie stores in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Atlanta and Miami also reported solid sales last week.
In Los Angeles and New York, most of the city’s top 10 cookie chains reported strong sales, with the most popular stores in the area serving up doughnuts, marshmallows, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and more.
In California, a dozen of the state’s largest cookie chains saw strong sales in 2017, with many of the largest chains including Bubba Gump Shrimp, Cake Boss, Tacos Deli, Kellogg’s and Chocolatey Coco all reporting big gains.
In New Jersey’s Burge City, which was the biggest cookie maker last year and also has K Kelloggs and Moe’s sales, the biggest stores reported solid sales.
“Our experience is we’re seeing a very strong growth,” said Marilyn Williams, senior director of cookie research for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
She said she expects more big cookie sales to come this year as consumers look to cut down on their spending.
(AP: Mark Lennihan/Associated Press)”It’s not that it’s not a good business, but we do feel like people are going to be more cautious about what they buy,” she said, noting people may want to cut back on spending on gifts and entertainment.
Williams said she anticipates the industry will continue to expand in 2017.
But the cookie boom has brought more scrutiny to the cookie business, said Kevin Johnson, CEO of Killer Instinct, a cookie brand that is based in Seattle.
The BLS reports that nearly half of the cookie-maker’s business is owned by a single family, and many have been unable to maintain profitability because of the rise in obesity rates and health care costs.
Kilbourne Foods announced last week it was closing a store in Los Angeles because of rising health care and obesity costs.
The company’s parent company, Burley Food Group, has been criticized for its poor performance in recent years and for failing to keep its suppliers on track.
Burkes Food and Soda has also been criticized because of a growing number of illnesses linked to its food products.
A spokesperson for the company did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
“When a business is underperforming, you can see that in their performance,” Johnson said.
“But if a business continues to perform well and doesn’t see any impact on their profits, then it’s likely that the customer is going to feel the same.”
Johnson also said he believes the industry may be oversold by consumers who are seeking healthier options.
He said he expects many more cookie brands will be adding to their offerings, with some of the brands already making moves.
“I don’t know if that’s a trend or a trend in itself, but it will certainly increase,” he said.(AP)