As the season changes and the pandemic surges, one company has been tracking how Americans have adjusted to an unusual holiday season.

The second wave of COVID-19 has spurred more shortages in paper goods and cleaning supplies, but even outside those industries, every retailer is having to navigate the volatile pandemic economy. As 2020 draws to a close, here are a few trends this holiday season so far according to Centricity, Inc.

Kids in the Kitchen 

As the season changes and the pandemic surges, Centricity is tracking Americans’ adjustments to these unusual holidays, according to the news release.

With schools closed and temperatures dropping, all indications are that children are spending more time inside than at other times during the pandemic. Parents seem to be finding new, creative ways of keeping their kids occupied, this time turning to the kitchen for inspiration.

Centricity has seen a 167% increase in demand for baking gels and writing gels over the past month, indicating that more people are encouraging their children to join them in baking by adding colorful, creative accents to their winter treats.

Similarly, with the holidays here and school sessions winding down for winter break, parents are embracing a more playful approach to toys. Whereas earlier in the school year we saw the highest consumer intent for motor skills toys (presumably to keep playtime productive), we’re now seeing parents lean more toward fun toys. Since November, demand for stacking towers and board games is up more than 170%. And it’s no coincidence that demand for pretend play kitchen sets is mirroring that surge, up by almost 200%, with parents in the kitchen and kids following their lead.

At Home mateur Mixologists 

The DIY movement is here, with many trying their hand at new at-home activities. A prime example is a surge in first-time bakers this year, a trend Centricity reports it has seen continuing through the holiday season, with measuring spoons and cups showing spikes of 175% over the last month.But beyond loaves of bread and pastries, the newest wave is the upgraded at-home drinking experience. Premium mixology ingredients have surged, highlighted by a 123% increase in demand for cocktail garnishes, which are meant to accentuate or complement flavors in a cocktail as a final touch. People clearly aren’t waiting around for bars to reopen, instead of recreating their favorite fancy cocktails on their own, driving the emerging amateur mixology market, the news release added.

Beauty It Up

Local governments everywhere are pleading with people to stay home and contain the spread of the virus. And by one measure, it appears those appeals may be working. Where the holiday season would usually correlate with a spike in beauty products sales, demand for nail polish, nail kits, and makeup remover has instead plummeted by over 160% over the last month. Seen through that lens, people seem to be staying in … or at least not dressing up.

America’s Sweet Tooth 

The holiday season is often defined by comforts and indulgence, and while the beginning of the pandemic led to upticks in health-related foods and activities, the winter seems to be bucking that trend. The sweet snacks category is trending upward, buoyed by an 84% increase in demand since last month. For those less inclined to do their own baking, the market for pre-made treats is doing well, with increases of 85% for pre-made cookies and 105% for pre-made muffins. Vegetables, on the other hand, aren’t faring quite as well these days, down 18% from last month, according to the news release.

Stay safe and have a happy holiday season!

Source: Centricity, Inc.