We've waxed lyrical about the importance of behavioural data when creating a recipe content strategy, and while data provides vital insight into the kind of recipe content that converts, there is one issue. Behavioural data is a fantastic tool for understanding what previous and current consumers want, it doesn't necessarily give insight into what prospective customers are in search of. In order to attract new audiences, we need to know what they want, and that's where trends and statistics come in.
Retailers know that avocados are popular with millennials, so it's no surprise that a search for 'avocado' on the Tesco Real Food website brings up 188 recipes. Sainsbury's lists 240 recipes. When trends are backed up by statistics, retailers can make an even more informed choice when choosing recipes to entice new customers. These three statistics prove that when it comes to creating an engaging recipe strategy, special diets may be the best place to start.
Veganism is up 600%
In just 3 years, the number of people identifying as vegan in the US increased by a staggering 600%. While vegans are still in the minority, they account for a not-insignificant 6% of US consumers. The below search data graph from Google Trends illustrates the growth of veganism in the United Kingdom over the last number of years, peaking at an all-time high in January 2018. While there has been some drop-off, there is no doubt that veganism is more of a long-term trend rather than a fad. A smart recipe strategy will place emphasis on easy, healthy plant-based meals to leverage the growing interest in veganism.
60% of consumers are wary of sugar
We've all seen the headlines. Sugar has overtaken fat to become the enemy of dieters. While only 25% of European consumers surveyed actively seek out low-sugar options, 60% of consumers monitor their dietary intake of sugar. Flavour is important to these health-conscious consumers, and tried and tested naturally low-sugar recipes will undoubtedly perform well when compared with shop-bought products that contain the sweeteners people are wary of.
Protein is popular
These days it seems like everyone is heading to the gym, with heavy lifting at peak popularity. With increased exercise comes an increased interest in diet, and protein is king. One only has to look at the health food section of any grocery store to see that the protein industry is booming. The Google Trends graph below illustrates that online searches for protein have never been higher. Grocery retailers and food brands can leverage this trend by choosing recipes that are naturally packed with protein, from snacks to main meals. Choosing recipes that are aimed at busy gym goers, and employing targeted marketing strategies is a guaranteed way to entice consumers that are already willing to spend more to ensure quality.
Monitoring consumer trends and statistics is something that should be built into a grocery retailer's recipe strategy. It's important to remember however that while food trends can come and go, recipes based on special diets have greater longevity. The final vital point is that every recipe should be shoppable to ensure a seamless shopping experience.