Retailers can team up with their retail dietitians to provide great-tasting recipes and meal solutions that address shoppers’ concerns about cost, time, ease and health.
Today more than ever, shoppers feel the pinch of rising food prices while facing the daily task of getting meals on the table. Retailers can help shoppers by providing recipes and meal ideas that satisfy the need for speed, ease, value and nutrition.
What Do Cooks Want?
The pandemic fueled increased interest in home cooking — and for some, it never let up. Among those are 3,801 dedicated home cooks, mostly women ages 55 and up, who subscribe to the recipe publication Taste of Home. Earlier this year, they responded to the publication’s online survey asking about their cooking attitudes and behaviors during the first two years of the pandemic.
About half (52%) of respondents said that they began cooking and baking more during the first year of the pandemic; somewhat surprisingly, 75% said that they were cooking and baking about the same amount or even more in year two than they did the year before (17% said more). About six in 10 (62%) look for new recipes more than they did six months ago, and almost seven in 10 (68%) cited “healthy meals/quality ingredients” as a top priority when they cook.
On the flip side, “cooking fatigue” is real for some, FMI’s “U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2022 — Future Outlook” report suggests. In that study, only 19% of shoppers said that they “love” cooking, compared with 23% in 2021. Shoppers also said that they’re spending less time each day preparing meals than in recent years, with 74% taking less than an hour and 30% spending less than 30 minutes, which emphasizes the need for fast recipe ideas. Even the avid cooks in the Taste of Home survey said that they wanted simple meal prep and quick and easy recipes, with this attitude especially true among Millennials.
Serving Up Solutions
Retailers can team up with their retail dietitians to provide great-tasting recipes and meal solutions that address shoppers’ concerns about cost, time, ease and health. Here are a few ideas:
Promote and regularly refresh recipe sections on your website that highlight attributes like “30 minutes or less,” “budget-friendly” and “healthy.”
Feature recipes that use popular time-saving appliances like air fryers, electric pressure cookers and slow cookers.
Offer meal preparation tips that don’t require a major time commitment. For example, suggest preparing just one recipe component, like a batch of browned ground beef, to speed meal prep throughout the week in casseroles, chili and tacos.
Give tips for using leftovers as the basis for another meal and to reduce food waste. Recommend doubling freezer-friendly recipes like soups and stews for fast future meals.
Display related recipes near nutritious sale items and less costly ingredients like canned seafood, canned and dry beans, and canned and frozen fruits and vegetables. For less budget-conscious shoppers, suggest using pre-cut produce or prepared deli items as convenient recipe components.
Deliver cost- and time-saving tips and techniques in cooking videos, store demos and recipe headnotes. For example, suggest saving time by using the “mise en place” method of prepping all recipe ingredients and setting out equipment before cooking begins.