Scratch cooking trend represents huge opportunity for convenience retail, says Tilda

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A new study into cooking behaviour has revealed that more people are taking the time to cook their meals from scratch compared to pre-pandemic. The results, released by leading dry rice brand, Tilda, uncover what consumers most enjoyed preparing and identify opportunities for retailers to tap into a growing interest in scratch cooking, by ensuring they stock the highest quality ingredients to help shoppers create the best results.

The research found that the pandemic has made consumers more experimental in the kitchen, with many recreating their favourite restaurant meals and food experiences from travels abroad, in their own home. Most UK adults now cook an average of three different cuisines per week, with a third (31%) of younger shoppers (18-34 year olds) trying out five cuisines per week. The most popular cuisines to cook from scratch are Indian, Chinese and Italian.

With rice a key element of these preferred dishes, Tilda uncovered that consumers lack confidence when preparing the popular grain. More than a quarter of Brits have incorrectly cooked rice and 22 per cent admit it is more difficult to cook than it initially seems. This demonstrates the necessity of superior ingredients to help consumers overcome these barriers and get perfect results every time. Retailers should consider which products to stock and how to range appropriately to inspire confidence in cooks.

Commenting on the research Anna Beheshti, head of marketing at Tilda, said: “It’s clear that consumers spent their time developing new creations in the kitchen, while they were stuck indoors. However, as restrictions ease, the trends of scratch cooking and the desire for new cuisines are not slowing down. Consumers continue to buy more take-home groceries than pre-pandemic and in-home consumption is likely to stay above 2019 levels for a while, particularly with more people working from home. 

“Over the last 18 months, the increase in scratch cooking, has had a direct and positive impact on sales of dry rice, with more consumers experimenting with premium ingredients and recipes at home. We have also recognised an increase in sales as people trade-up to recreate the meals they previously ate while dining out. Rice plays an integral role in many popular restaurant dishes, such as Biryani, Jollof rice and fried rice, proving that it is an extremely versatile ingredient and therefore, a must-stock.

“However, ability is just one element of confidently cooking from scratch. Quality of ingredients is vital in enabling home-cooks to deliver great results every time. By ensuring availability of superior products and best-selling brands that shoppers can trust, you can help them choose the right rice for the right eating occasion and cook with confidence.

Tilda has developed some tips to help retailers make the most of the nation’s love of scratch cooking:

  1. Quality of ingredients – It is key for retailers to stock high quality, trusted brands, to ensure shoppers are equipped with the ingredients they need to cook successfully and elevate their eating experience at home. Tilda, the leading dry rice brand in the UK, removes broken and inferior grains which means only the best quality grains are included in each pack, to help cooks deliver perfect results every time.
  2. Complete range for every need – Ensure you have a selection of rice grain options to cater to different eating occasions and more adventurous cooks. Tilda offers a full suite of superior quality dry rice products that will help improve the cooking and eating experience of any cuisine. Tilda Pure Basmati 500g is the leading sku in convenience, but with modern Asian food, such as Thai and Japanese growing in popularity, introduce Tilda Fragrant Jasmine Rice to provide an authentic alternative ingredient and help shoppers achieve perfect rice, every time. Stocking a variety of SKU’s to cover a range of cuisines will enable consumers to choose the right rice for the right dish.
  3. Rice pairing – Identify the most popular types of cuisine and create dedicated displays where shoppers can find all they need to make that dish with ease. Indian cuisine is the most recreated food in the home, so place Tilda Pure Basmati Rice near to relevant spices, curry sauces, and chutneys to help shoppers navigate the fixture more easily. Use POS to direct to fresh ingredients i.e. ‘Just add chicken’ or ‘spice up with some chilli’, providing prompts to complete the meal. Look at meal-deals, including quality ingredients and trusted well-known brands to enable home-cooks to confidently create easy, nutritious meals from scratch. E.g. chicken breast fillets, stir-fry vegetables, sweet chilli sauce and Tilda Wholegrain Brown Basmati Rice for a bundle price.