This is a guest blog by Jane Dodd from Recipe Guru , the trusted partner of leading global publishers, influencers, celebrity chefs and nutritionists to digitise, enhance and syndicate their recipe content.

The recent partnership between Recipe Guru and ChannelSight has resulted in a seamless end-to-end shoppable recipes solution that activates recipe content, leverages transactional data and drives brand engagement. While almost 100% of food retailers provide highly valuable editorial content including recipes, articles, blog posts and videos on their websites, only 50% have made this content shoppable. Why does this spell bad news for the 50% of grocery retailers that haven’t made their content shoppable and rely only on static recipe content? To find an answer to that question, let’s first take a look at how and why people are searching for recipe inspiration.

Why does recipe inspiration matter?

Woman holding basket full of groceries

The inspiration stage of the cooking journey has always been a pain point for consumers. Between work commitments, family responsibilities, endless housework and rare moments of downtime, who has time to meal plan? And yet pre-pandemic figures from Kraft Heinz revealed that people were spending 40-minutes a week on average deciding what to cook and searching for recipe inspiration. Home cooking is trending right now because of the pandemic, but pre-pandemic statistics illustrate that there was already a desire for home cooked meals before it became a necessity. 

  • 51% of Americans said they would prepare dinner at home more often if they had new ideas (Peapod)
  • 62% of millennials and 71% of millennial parents made an effort to cook new dishes (YouGov)
  • 77% of people surveyed said they would rather eat a homemade meal than go out for dinner (Peapod)

Those 77% of people surveyed by Peapod have had their wish come true. We’re all eating more home cooked meals than we used to. Statistics released in April by Hunter revealed that 54% of Americans were cooking more often, with 75% of respondents admitting they had become more confident in the kitchen and 73% saying they were enjoying cooking more than they did before the pandemic. 

The novelty of having the time to cook elaborate home cooked meals from scratch every day has worn off. But, for many the reality of what is happening outside our homes means home cooking is still a necessity. This is where fresh recipe inspiration comes into play. 60% of consumers are looking for recipes to use ingredients they have in their pantries and refrigerators. The average millennial spends nearly 200 hours a year at the grocery store and more than 300 hours cooking. Why not combine those processes with the inspiration stage into one neat shoppable recipes package? The time-saving element is just one benefit for consumers – and there are many more for grocery retailers and food brands. 

Increasing basket value with shoppable recipe content

The average spend in Walmart per grocery pickup trip is $124.86. The average spend in-store is just $49.70. Clearly online grocery results in higher basket values but this climbs even higher when consumers use shoppable recipe content to complete a purchase.

Asda has found that:

  • Consumers using recipe content to shop add three more items to their cart than when they shop without recipe content 
  • Customers that use recipe content to shop move from below average spenders to above-average spenders

It makes sense. A customer might intend on buying chicken fillets, potatoes and broccoli to make a simple family meal. But if a casserole recipe catches their eye, the ‘add ingredients to basket’ button could result in an unplanned purchase of chicken stock, fresh herbs, onions and garlic. A win for home cooks who are looking to beat cooking fatigue and a win for food brands and retailers who benefit from increased revenues.

Fostering loyalty through a more efficient and engaging online grocery process

One-off increases in revenue are great, but ongoing loyalty is even better. More than two-thirds of online grocery shoppers feel the digital experience is core to where they choose to shop. In the past, a supermarket was simply a place to purchase groceries, loyalty wasn’t necessarily an issue for grocery retailers and shopping around wasn’t a concern for consumers. Today’s consumers demand more from grocery retailers and food brands. More than half of consumers consider their primary grocery store an ally in achieving their healthy eating goals

Another issue faced by consumers thanks to Covid-19 is lack of available ingredients, a result of disrupted supply chains. Presenting consumers with shoppable recipe content that uses available ingredients is one way to build a reputation as a reliable source of not just ingredients but of an efficient way to meal plan and purchase ingredients. Meat shortages, for example, mean consumers have been searching for alternative sources of protein that they might not necessarily have the skills to cook. Add in infrequent trips to the grocery store and suddenly meal planning and grocery shopping becomes a lot more difficult. As a result, online grocery has never been more popular. 

Building a Digital Food Experience

 The already-crowded digital grocery space is going to become an awful lot more crowded as smaller grocery retailers and food brands scramble to compete with the big players in the industry. Building a reputation for providing an engaging, efficient and hassle-free online grocery experience should be a top priority for grocery retailers and food brands.  This will help to foster loyalty among consumers and drive ongoing traffic increases

Shoppable recipes are a vital part of building a digital food experience that keeps customers coming back for more. Equally as important is focusing on data-driven recipe curation to ensure your recipe content matches your customers’ particular needs, desires and lifestyle choices and an accompanying social media campaign to guide home cooks to your website. Convincing consumers to engage with your shoppable recipe content relies on them clicking on the recipe content to begin with, after all, and a food brand’s website isn’t necessarily the first place someone will look for a recipe.

Building closer relationships between grocery retailers, food brands and consumers

recipes from laptop

A food brand’s website might not be the first place people think of to search for recipe content, but the right recipe content can change that. King Arthur Flour, for example, has created a highly-engaged community of home bakers built around its shoppable recipe content. Food brands that want to benefit from the increased engagement shoppable recipe content brings can do so on their own platforms through Recipe Guru and ChannelSight’s combined shoppable recipes solution. 

One of the very few benefits of the Covid-19 pandemic is that it has forced consumers to investigate online grocery options and discover additional opportunities to purchase food directly from food brands. Consumers want to support food brands, particularly brands that have pivoted their marketing strategies to ensure people feel supported each time they stand in front of the stove wondering what to do next. There are also opportunities for food brands to build closer relationships with grocery retailers and consumers. This can be done through sponsored shoppable recipe content that puts a particular food brand in a customer’s basket by default. This is an option whether the food brand chooses to sell directly to the consumer or through the consumer’s preferred retailer. The consumer journey and sales insights are recorded by ChannelSight, giving the brand a real-time snapshot of how the recipe has performed in terms of sales. Not only does this enable food brands to react more quickly to content but also gives customers a more relevant experience. It also lends a sense of authenticity and reliability to the recipe on the grocery retailer’s website, while increasing brand awareness and more importantly sales for the food brand. All of this results in a more engaged and loyal customer base.

Recipes and data in one neat shoppable recipes package

Shoppable recipes turn inspiration into conversions, driving consumers efficiently down the purchase funnel in just a few clicks. At Recipe Guru, our focus is on finding the right recipes to suit your customers’ needs at any particular time. The data-driven curation and recipe activation process we provide in partnership with ChannelSight helps our customers make data driven decisions. Home cooking is still on the agenda for the 60% of people who are avoiding restaurants and online grocery holding steady with around 60% using the service (up from 53% in January). Hence, shoppable recipes will continue to be as relevant as they were at the very beginning of the pandemic. Online grocery and shoppable recipe habits formed now have the potential to become part of our daily lives beyond this period. Once the pandemic is a thing of the past, creating an enticing and efficient digital experience will only accelerate this process.

Interested in leveraging the benefits of shoppable recipe content?

You can learn more about the benefits of Recipe Guru and ChannelSight’s shoppable recipe content here or book a call with our shoppable recipes team and let’s chat about your recipe needs.