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Data shows increased interest in sweets among Filipinos during the pandemic

By Brooke Villanueva Published Jan 22, 2021 12:24 am

Stressed is desserts spelled backwards! 

Filipinos seem to have found comfort in sweet delights amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, with new data showing a “consistent upward trend” in their interest in chocolates, candy, and other confections since the virus outbreak began.

According to a research conducted by e-commerce aggregator iPrice, the Philippines ranks third in Southeast Asia in terms of such. “Nearly 18.8% of the country’s Google population are looking for sweets, the highest number after Malaysia (21.8%) and Singapore (19.3%),” they reported, adding that the figures have been verified by the International Diabetes Foundation and Diabetes Atlas’ data on diabetes prevalence in Asia. 

“In a normal year, February and October would garner the most Google searches on sweets and chocolates due to Valentine’s Day and Halloween. However, this year, Filipinos have been searching more and more for these delicacies as the year goes by,” as stated in the study. 

The Philippines’ Growing Interest in Sweets During the Pandemic | From iPrice PH

“For instance, if you compare September 2020 (a random month) with February 2020 (Valentines’ Day month), September has 38% more Google searches,” explained the iPrice Group. “In April 2020, just when everyone was transitioning into the new normal, search interest for chocolates & sweets started to increase by 20%.” 

It can be noted that the research team based it on the Google searches in the Philippines that contained keywords like “sweets,” “candy,” “chocolates,” “tsokolate,” and “tamis.”

Curious about the most searched brands in the country? Filipinos specifically look for Toblerone, Maltesers, and Ferrero Rocher the most—with 254% more searches than local brands. The top local brands in the PH are Philfoods’ Flat Tops, Choki-Choki, Chocnut, and Curly Tops, respectively. 

While sweet treats are undeniably indulging, it’s important to eat them in moderation to keep your health in check. Dr. Michelle Hauser, a certified chef and nutrition educator and clinical fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School, suggests avoiding temptation by storing decadent goodies in your cupboards and fridge, adding your own sweetener to your favorite foods and beverages, checking food labels for possible hidden sugars, as well as enjoying a filling meal in the morning to curb your cravings.

"When you get used to eating fewer super-sweet things, you crave them less. You become more satisfied with less sweet things,” said Dr. Hauser.