MELVILLE, NY. – Glazed donuts, chewy cookies and blueberry muffins all score highly with consumers of sweet baked goods, according to new research from Comax Flavors, which fielded a study of 1,200 US adults age 18 and over in February. The research broke the data down into age groups of silent generation (born 1925 to 1945), baby boomers (1946 to 1964), Gen X (1965 to 1976), Gen Y (1977 to 1995) and Gen Z (1996 and later).

“Americans have an infinity for sweets,” said Catherine Armstrong, vice president of corporate communications for Melville-based Comax Flavors. “Traditionally, baked goods connote comfort and joy and frequently conjure warm childhood memories. The pandemic has accelerated consumers’ desire for sweet baked goods.”

Taste was ranked as the most important attribute in sweet baked goods by 72% of respondents while 58% cited flavor as an important attribute. When asked their No. 1 beverage consumed with sweet baked foods, 53% said coffee, which led among all generations: 59% for silent generation, 57% for Gen Y, 51% for Gen Z, 51% for baby boomers and 49% for Gen X.

Other findings: muffins, at 72%, and donuts, at 63%, are consumed most heavily in the morning; 58% eat brownies as a snack while 55% and 54% eat cakes and cupcakes, respectively, as a snack; 41% enjoy cookies in the evening, and 35% do in the afternoon; and 57% eat pie as a dessert.

Comax Flavors has partnered with Amy Marks-McGee, founder of Trendincite LLC, to manage a market research program and Costello Creative Group to translate the data into infographics.

Diving deeper into cake findings, 64% said frosted/iced was their favorite cake. When asked their most popular cake flavor, 55% said chocolate, which ranked No. 1 among all generations: Gen X at 60%, Gen Y at 57%, baby boomers at 55%, silent generation at 50% and Gen Y at 47%. Vanilla was second overall at 40%.

In cookie findings, 65% said soft/chewy cookies was a key factor, and 52% said hard/chunky. Forty-seven percent said they eat filled/stuffed/sandwich cookies. When asked about popular cookie flavors, 45% said chocolate and 40% said oatmeal, which was especially popular among baby boomers at 52% and silent generation at 52%.

The top two types of donuts were glazed at 71% and frosted/iced at 70%. Chocolate, at 56% overall, was the most popular flavor among all generations: Gen X at 63%, Gen Y at 62%, Gen Z at 58%, baby boomers at 39% and silent generation at 39%.

Blueberry, at 52%, was the most popular muffin among all generations: silent generation at 79%, Gen X at 55%, baby boomers at 54%, Gen Z at 51% and Gen Y at 43%. Forty-six percent said they eat chocolate chip muffins, and 43% said they eat chocolate muffins.

A majority of respondents (54%) said they eat apple pie. Generational responses were Gen Y at 67%, baby boomers at 59%, Gen X at 52%, silent generation at 46% and Gen Z at 33%. Other pie responses were blueberry at 33%, chocolate at 35%, cherry at 39%, lemon at 29%, pumpkin at 28% and pecan at 27%.

Frosted/iced, at 73%, was the No. 1 type of cupcake liked by all respondents. Chocolate, at 51% overall, was the most prevalent flavor among all generations: baby boomers at 59%, Gen Y at 55%, Gen X at 54%, Gen Z at 48%, and silent generation at 30%. Forty-two percent overall said they consumed red velvet cupcakes.

In brownie findings, chocolate and fudge were the two most popular flavors, both at 60%. At 63% overall, chocolate was the most popular brownie flavor among all generations: Gen X at 76%, Gen Y at 61%, Gen Z at 59%, baby boomers at 57% and silent generation at 57%.