Home is where the Heart is

In February we carried out an online survey on the topic of food trends arising from COVID and worked with our partners ParentsandBrands.com (https://www.parentsandbrands.com) to gain insights into what has changed in the past 12 months.

An online quantitative survey of 19 questions was distributed via email during February 2021 to 393 Irish consumers across the country. The survey was active for 10 days and the total number of complete responses was 152. Our partners ParentsandBrands then ran an online focus group on their private platform in February 2021 with 21 women from across Ireland. Contact [email protected] for additional information

Five trends that arose from the feedback include:

  1. Trying New Ingredients 
  2. Cooking From Scratch
  3. No Cooking At Home
  4. Ordering Food And Drink Products Online 
  5. Changes To Eating Habits


Key stats from Parents about Food Trends Arising From COVID

91% of respondents say they are likely or very likely to keep cooking at home from scratch post COVID

59% of respondents are eating less meat since lockdown and expect to continue with this trend post lockdown

65% of respondents like to order a takeaway when they are not cooking from scratch with only 8% saying they will buy ready meals

63% of respondents say they will continue to order food and drink products online after lockdown

73% of respondents have tried new ingredients since COVID and 84% say they will continue to buy new ingredients post COVID

Here are some of the key insights and feedback:

Cooking From Scratch

“I have started (cooking) a few new dishes during lockdown, e.g. a pasta dish, soup and homemade bread. I will keep making those. I started making these mainly because there was so much posting on social media of recipes. I cook all the time at home anyway and this didn’t change that much with lockdown but as with everyone I sometimes get bored of the same things all the time.”

Changes To Eating Habits

“I’ll definitely be cooking more from scratch. Pasta sauces, soups, curries – I would sometimes buy a jar for convenience but now I’ll be making the time to make my own. So much nicer and tastier. I’ll also be using my local butcher and fruit & veg shop more.”

Not Cooking At Home

“I won’t be cooking at home as much once the vaccines are rolled out and the virus is under control as I intend going out on a Sunday evening for dinner and going out for lunch once a week as I did before. We don’t get takeaways. But even when lockdown is lifted, I won’t feel safe eating out until I get vaccinated, so I will be cooking at home as much for the immediate future!”

Ordering Food And Drink Products Online

“I ordered some spices to make a few different curry dishes. They were fab and made all the difference so I will continue to order them after lockdown. Also as a present I ordered a food hamper for Christmas and I would order one of these again once out of lockdown.”

Trying New Ingredients 

“I have actually ordered more fish through places now delivering (and the same with meat and new vegetables I wouldn’t have bought before). I have tried cooking with some fish that I never would have so that’s been interesting to try.”

Key Recommendations for Brands

Retailers should cultivate a nice browsing/sampling shop environment since these are two things consumers are really looking forward to, when restrictions are lifted. Brands should look for opportunities to get product samples out to consumers where possible to let them try.

People plan to continue cooking from scratch at home post COVID. They will need recipes and websites and social media are the go to sources for these. What recipe content can you add to your social channels and website to encourage visits?

The ‘weekly main shop’ trend looks like it is here to stay, so rewards for the big basket spend are going to be welcomed by consumers. For food producers, communications around “Pick it up wherever you do your weekly shop” are going to put you in mind when consumers meal plan for their next grocery shop.

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