Beyond the Recipe: The Rise of Home Cooking

Statistics on shoppers returning to home-cooking in the midst of the economies woes won’t surprise anyone. For several years now, it is has been well documented that converting dollars from foodservice to food retailing has been one of the most popular ways to save among shoppers. At the beginning of the recession, cookbooks flew off the shelves. Likewise, cooking shows and online recipe sites continue to add new users every day. As it turns out, the popularity of these tools comes with good reason…

While consumers may have rediscovered the kitchen, their knowledge of meal preparation is marginal at best. Whether planning a meal, cooking meat or selecting wine to go with a nice meal, upwards of 50% of shoppers admit they are anything but an expert and are in need of at least some assistance.

  • The opportunity is clear: shoppers are looking to cook, but many don’t know how. Be a helping hand! Beyond merely providing some recipe ideas, educating shoppers in the choice, purchase and preparation aspects of food can go a long way in growing sales and customer loyalty.

  • Find the right tools and tone to connect with shoppers of all ages. For example, with their propensity for technology, platforms such as apps, emails, blogs and online information will likely be good ways to reach Millennials.

  • Have the right messaging! Consider this number for instance: 77 percent of shoppers say they need help understanding the USDA beef grading system (prime, select and choice). Think about the valuable on-pack real estate space allocated to a program that in reality is apparently not very helpful to the masses. Perhaps a simple callout such as “highest quality” would send home the message much more clearly.

  • Beyond package callouts that resonate with the shopper, make sure your on-pack/online recipes and cooking tips are easily understood by all levels of cooking expertise. Many new and seasoned chefs alike are unfamiliar with the official culinary terminology. Braise, dredge or frizzle, anyone?

  • And above all else… get to know your shopper better. All of this emergent purchasing behavior and online access to tools to support the consumers’ new cooking habits are opportunities to learn more about them. Get insights on how you can serve them better with targeted marketing offers which will increase and retain lifetime value.

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