For the first time in its more than 150-year history, Pillsbury will have ready-to-eat treats in the cookie aisle, reflecting a nation that’s over its pandemic baking craze.
Nearly a year after laborious baking projects, like sourdough bread, took over America as a form of distraction during new pandemic lockdowns, the pendulum is swinging the other way. Research shows consumers are weary from cooking and cleaning up three meals a day and are craving shortcuts and convenience.
Pillsbury, owned by Golden Valley-based General Mills, is best known for its premade refrigerated doughs, but even that requires dirtying a baking sheet.
Like many baking ingredient companies, General Mills saw a huge spike in sales for its flour last spring before stabilizing at moderately elevated levels as the pandemic went on.
The company isn’t reinventing the wheel with its shelf-stable soft baked cookies. Instead, it’s directing Pillsbury’s baking prowess toward a product for consumers who want a sweet treat now — not in 10-14 minutes.
“We focused on launching Pillsbury Soft Baked Cookies for that quick treat, knowing there is not always time for baking,” Jeff Caswell, president of General Mills’ snacks division, said in a statement.
Pillsbury’s 18-pack of cookies will come in four varieties: chocolate chip, confetti, sugar with drizzled icing and peanut butter with chocolate drizzle. They will be available at retailers nationwide over the next two months.
Kristen Leigh Painter • 612-673-4767