Candy and Comfort Foods
If anyone likes a quick pick-me-up, it's the stressed out American worker. If you're lucky enough to keep your job during a recession, then you're probably bracing for the next round of layoffs. While heavy drinking at the office is frowned upon, nearly everyone can get behind a big bowl of jellybeans.
Candy consumption in the United States went through the roof during the Great Recession. The New York Times reported that Cadbury's profits were up 30 percent in 2008, and Nestle saw a 10.9 percent growth [source: Haughney]. Hershey's saw its overall sales increase 4.7 percent a year from 2008 to 2010 during the worst of the recession [source: Prokop].
Inexpensive, sweet treats provide a necessary break from all of the bad news. Indeed, during the Great Depression, treats like Snickers, Tootsie Pops and Mars Bars were all invented, and are still enjoyed today [source: Haughney].
Sweet and salty comfort foods were also a go-to during the early weeks of the Covid-19 crisis. In mid-March 2020, retailers reported chocolate candy sales were up 21.1 percent over the same period in 2019 and ice cream sales jumped 34.5 percent [source: Prokop].