NEW YORK - As people try to trim their budgets and save a little extra cash, there's one area where consumers refuse to compromise: Their baked goods.
It seems like Americans have an insatiable sweet tooth, despite the rapid rise in inflation, so cookies and cakes are being dubbed "affordable indulgences."
"Affordable indulgence has been very common throughout the pandemic and afterwards," says Barbara Denham, a Senior Economist for Oxford Economics. "As people feel the need to treat themselves with little things like sweets and cakes and things like that."
A recent study by the American Bakers Association found that 84% of consumers are making room in their budgets for baked sweets--despite inflation.
Economist Barbara Denham attributes this to a very significant shift in consumer spending post-Covid.
"It's very natural to see this kind of spending on what you would call affordable indulgence in this kind of environment with both a fearful Covid situation and inflation in restaurants."
Crowds of people waited outside a Crumbl store in Manhattan.
And then there's social media famous - cookie joint Crumbl which just opened its first location in New York City on the Upper East Side and had a line wrapped around the corner.
"It's really hard to beat a hot cookie," says Crumbl's Seth Neelman. "Obviously we have a little bit of a longer line right now, but hopefully we get everything smoothed out and get people as many cookies as possible. It just puts a smile on people's faces--and that's what we're here to do."
Cookie lovers waited hours for the gourmet treats priced at $5 each.
It is $5 a cookie at Crumbl.
One customer told FOX 5 News, "People just want something sugary and fun and looks good on Tik Tok."
Other customers said the large cookies are a great bang for the buck.
One could argue Crumbl combines the concept of an experience with an affordable indulgence.