The Lowdown on Lockdown Eats

With the country nearing a year in lockdown, we’re certainly making the best of a bad situation, with many of us turning to our tummies to seek out life’s little pleasures and something to look forward.  And the global pandemic has certainly changed our food shopping habits too – perhaps for the long-term…

But what are we all eating, and how are we shopping?

Frozen is best!

According the British Frozen Food Federation’s (BFFF) Frozen Food Report, retail sales of frozen foods have increased by £872m, with value sales now worth £7.21bn with a year-on-year growth of 13.8%.  Compared to total grocery showing growth at 11.3% and fresh and chilled at 9.3%.

Those aged 24+ Generation Z (born 1997-2012) are also now 23% more likely to eat frozen food, attracted by the convenience, flavours of the ever growing range of vegetarian and vegan products on offer.

Basket spend and frequency of frozen shopping is also on the up – with ‘consumers looking for convenient products that will not spoil between shopping trips’.

Lockdown skills

We’re taking to the kitchen at home, looking to recreate our favourite flavours and restaurant style meals, and we’re getting more adventurous too!

Whether that’s taking inspiration from cooking programmes, Instagram accounts, or dusting off the cookbook’s formerly resigned to the shelf.

Many companies, have seized the opportunity to create delicious offerings for us to cook at home too, inspired by our much-loved restaurants – take for example Greatfood2u encouraging us all to whip up dishes at home from brands including TGI, Burger and Lobster and Pizza Express.

Subscription services are booming too, with ingredients delivered weekly to budding chefs! Gousto, for example, doubled its monthly meal deliveries from 2.5m to 5m over lockdown.

And not forgetting, Weetabix and Beans!

According to an article in The Grocer this week, Weetabix sales have surged by 15% in Sainsbury’s along last week, following a series of viral social media posts that captured the attention of consumers and brands alike… ‘Serving up @HeinzUK Beanz on bix for breakfast with a twist.’  Will it catch on?!

The virtual shopping list

March 2020 saw a record month for online food shops, with 140,000 additional households opting for home delivery!  And research suggests it’s the ‘new normal’ with BFFF reporting that only 26% of shoppers intend to revert to pre-pandemic shopping habits, with 55% saying they will never shop in the same way again.

According to an email to sent to customers by Tesco in January, since March 2020 the supermarket giant has ‘more than doubled home delivery and Click+Collect slots to 1.5 million a week’.

On your bike!

BFFF research also revealed that takeaway sales increased by 250%… and the Deliveroo revolution continues!  The company has this week announced a major expansion of services across the UK – offering grocery deliveries to an additional 125 towns and cities in 2021, taking it’s total coverage to 300.

While the company benefits from doorstep deliveries to eager diners, their research also shows that 65% of us are spending more on takeaways as a treat to look forward to during lockdown

We’ll have to wait until next week to find out more, but is good news for the hospitality sector on the horizon as restriction lift, or is it another month of Weetabix and Beans for the UK?

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