Updated: Nov 25, 2022
Fakeaways, the art of recreating your favourite restaurant or takeaway dishes in the comfort of your own home, have soared in popularity over the last few years. If you’ve been toiling away in your kitchen trying to replicate KFC’s Colonel Sanders’ 11 secret herbs and spices or perhaps trying to perfect the base on your Pizza Express copy, you’re not alone. Research by Maxima found that KFC alone accounted for 12,000 searches a month on Google in the UK by those looking for inspiration and recipes (6 x greater than the next fakeaway meal choice – Nando’s).
For some, creating fakeaways was down to necessity with their restaurants and takeaways of choice closed during the COVID-19 lockdowns. For others, it is about saving money and financial belt tightening or about being able to put their own twist on one of their favourites, perhaps creating a healthier version as they go. However, against the backdrop of a post COVID-19 society, uncomfortable economic constraints combined with a war and associated supply issues, it can be difficult to fully understand whether this is a short-term fad or a longer lasting trend.
To get a view on this, we turned to our self-funded WindowOn research where over the years we have been keeping tabs on changing consumer habits. This shows that by May 2020, compared with pre-pandemic measures, there was a net rise in demand for creating fakeaways, cooking from scratch and home-baking. By February 2022, home baking had fallen away somewhat while fakeaways have steadily grown to December 2020 after which they steeply increased. Cooking from scratch, meanwhile, remained consistent throughout, but with the current cost of living escalating, we expect this trend to remain stable, even if channel choice changes (e.g., Hello Fresh). Interestingly too, we have also observed a net decline in buying ready meals/ meat kits and ordering takeaways at home through to February 2022.
So, who is driving this fakeaway trend? From the latest wave of our research, we can see our 25–34 year-olds are leading the way. We see a similar lead amongst those with children in the household (particularly those with children aged 0-5 who may be finding it difficult to get out to their usual haunts with young ones in tow). Unsurprisingly, those that have found themselves spending more time working from home since the pandemic are also more likely to have been crafting their own fakeaways.
This all makes perfect sense in the context of where we were back then: strict lockdown measures restricting access to movement, fewer holiday opportunities, fewer chances to go out and socialise led consumers to seek ways of creating excitement at home. Concerns about weight gain during lockdown combined with cost constraints are likely to be driving the downward trend in actual takeaways. Our latest research shows a sharp decline in takeaways amongst our shoppers aged 45 and over.
Retailers have spotted the fakeaway opportunity, developing 30-minute fake-away recipes. Tesco’s Real Food collection proves a great example, providing a full list of everything needed, detailed instructions and a link through to the Tesco website where you can purchase the ingredients for almost 200 different dishes. Alongside the traditional retailers, online start-ups originally born to help dieters find tasty tried and tested slimming recipes have diversified their portfolios to include healthy fakeaways, batch cooking, quick meals and the weekly indulgence we need more than ever. Pinch of Nom is a great example here.
Retailers can continue to support the fakeaway trend via their on-line and in-store offer, with merchandising and communication. There is additional opportunity to customise money off vouchers and layer experience into promotions. Going forward, supermarkets can drive loyalty by tailoring offers to support shoppers’ emotional needs.
The cost-of-living crisis means financial pressures will be top of mind for the majority going into this autumn and so it’s likely the fakeaway trend will continue to grow and grow. Here at Shoppercentric, we will be monitoring how this evolves alongside other interesting shopper and consumer behaviour.
Marie Screene & Rob Bates
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Tesco Real Food - https://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/collections/30-minute-fakeaways.html
Pinch of Nom - https://pinchofnom.com/category/food/fakeaways/