With ever-changing lockdown measures forcing us to continue spending more time at home, it’s becoming increasing likely that some of the key consumer habits developed during full lockdown are here to stay.
Scratch cooking is one area that has seen a huge growth, which is great news for the fresh produce sector.
Market research* presented at the recent FPJ Live virtual event demonstrates this trend:
77% of people bought more fresh produce during lockdown than they did previously.
50% said that they’ve become more health conscious as a result of the pandemic.
46% said that they’re now eating more fruit and veg.
53% are doing more scratch cooking.
UK grown produce, supporting local farms and eating seasonally also showed a growth in popularity.
*Research carried out by England Marketing
Lockdown saw an initial surge in people baking banana bread and turning their hands to making sourdough to fill the extra time that working from home or furlough created but, as time went on (and on, and on!), the focus moved to home cooked meals.
Consumer insights presented by Kantar at FPJ Live highlighted how spending five months at home in lockdown had changed where we eat and drink with 26% of consumers cooking and eating at home more during this period.
Young people in particular (18-24 and 25-34 age brackets) developed a new enthusiasm for cooking with many families using the time together to learn how to cook. Even MorePeople’s CEO, Guy Moreton, taught his 20-something son how to cook during lockdown, giving him some useful life skills and hopefully inspiring him to buy a house of his own in the not too distant future!
After the last recession, the scratch cooking trend continued for around two years after life returned to ‘normal’, so it’s expected to continue for some time post-pandemic. This can only be helped by the renewed consumer focus on healthier lifestyles and protecting immune systems.
Kantar reported that if the fresh produce sector continues to grow at the current rate, the UK is on track to be averaging 5 portions of fruit or veg a day by 2025.
So, with no end to the restrictions in sight, people continuing to work from home or flexibly and self-care becoming more of a priority, scratch cooking could well be a food trend that’s here to stay.
If you are looking for an exciting new role in the fresh produce sector, visit our jobs page or call a member of our recruitment team on 01780 480530.