More U.K. shoppers prepared a meal at home during the last 12 months — rising from 78.3% in 2016 to 83.8% in 2017 — as interest in healthy eating continued to grow according to new research by GlobalData.
Grocers are leveraging shopper preferences for healthy eating with more shelf space. The healthier eating trend is also being carried over into non-food, with retailers like John Lewis offering innovative products such as non-stick pans which require less oil and butter.
The company’s latest report, Cooking and Baking 2017, reveals that this trend will boost U.K. cookware sales over the next five years with ovenware sales expected to reach £256.0m, a growth rate of +8.8% and pots and pans sales £805.5m, a growth rate of 9.9% over the forecast period 2017 to 2022.
Eating less takeout
Despite the success of online food and delivery service apps like Just Eat — which recently boosted its market position with the acquisition of rival foodservice provider Hungry House — the healthy eating trend has led to a decrease in the number of shoppers purchasing a takeaway within the last 12 months down to 56.7% in 2016 from 61.8% in 2015.
Awareness and interest in healthy living is now firmly on the agenda for many shoppers, influenced by celebrity chefs and social media opinion formers such as Jamie Oliver, Joe Wicks, and Hemsley + Hemsley together with the impact of high-profile public health initiatives like the U.K. government’s Change4Life campaign, says Sarah Johns, a retail analyst at GlobalData.
Research states that while the rise of food delivery apps such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats provide an easy and convenient way to eat, shoppers are increasingly realizing that ordering takeaways too regularly is neither healthy nor financially sustainable in the long run.
Seeking more control
GlobalData’s research also confirms that shoppers identify cooking at home as a way to stay healthy because they feel it gives them more control over what is in their food. When asked about this, 67.4% of shoppers agreed with this sentiment in 2017, up 12.7% on the previous year’s response.
“The grocers are leveraging shopper preferences for healthy eating by devoting more shelf space to and extending ranges of ‘free from’ and ‘reduced’ food ingredients e.g. ‘gluten-free’, ‘dairy free’ and ‘sugar-free’,” Johns says. “We are also starting to see healthier eating being carried over into non-food, with retailers like John Lewis offering innovative products such as non-stick pans which require less oil and butter.’’
As competition in the cooking and baking market intensifies, retailers could harness the influence of food bloggers and be more creative in their online content to increase shopper engagement and sales. GlobalData research shows that over the last 12 months 45.2% of shoppers looked up recipes online and 27.4% agreed that social media content has encouraged them to do more cooking.
With U.K. inflation reaching its highest level in over five years – 3.1% in November 2017 – shopper budgets are under constant pressure. More consumers see cooking as a way to save money as an alternative to eating out – the percentage of shoppers who agreed with this grew from 51.2% to 68.5% over the last 12 months. Shoppers will, therefore, be buying more cookware products like frying pans and roasting trays for cooking at home to save money down the line.
“More shoppers are cooking from home and spending more money on better quality cookware, leading to product replacement cycles shortening,” Johns says. “This makes it more important than ever for retailers to secure sales to maintain market share. Communicating value for money and leveraging specialist credentials are just some of the ways they can achieve this.”