UK shoppers are increasingly cooking international dishes at home to save money and experimenting with adventurous flavours from across the globe.
Tesco, UK’s biggest supermarket, has revealed that sales of ingredients and meal kits for a range of global cuisines have been consistently rising in the last year as customers look for alternatives to takeaways and learn to cook their versions at home.
Ingredients to make familiar favourites like Indian curry are top of the charts, increasing by 33 percent, with items to cook a Chinese meal second, up by 32 percent. However pan-Asian products to help make Korean, Japanese or Thai meals are up by 15 percent. And Caribbean meal kits and ingredients are also high in the charts, up 14 percent over the last year.
The demand for global ingredients as part of the cooking-at-home trend has been so strong that Tesco has extended its range of World Foods in existing stores by 35 percent to satisfy customer demand. The grocer has also introduced World Foods displays in eight percent more stores.
To help customers looking to cook at home find great value, Tesco has launched its largest-ever promotion for the category, with almost 2,000 products offered at a 20 percent discount for customers with a Clubcard until August 8th.
Shoppers have been stocking up on basmati rice for Indian cooking and record sales of Tesco chapatti flour as customers make their versions of the flatbread that is popular with curry.
The trend for pan-Asian cooking at home has been fuelled by increasing sales of spice pastes used to make authentic Thai cuisines, such as Thai green curries, pad thai noodles and massaman curries.
Tesco customers have also been experimenting more with meal kits to make themselves delicious treats like Donburi rice bowls, Yakisoba noodles from Japan, and Bibimbap, a Korean rice dish.
In recent months, Tesco has inspired its customers to continue experimenting with new global dishes, with in-aisle displays featuring Middle Eastern, Latin American, Japanese and Korean foods. The current theme highlights Caribbean food and features products from celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott.
Abigail Wilkinson, Tesco Category Buying Manager for cooking ingredients and global cuisine, said that the supermarket had seen a significant trend for customers looking to save money by cooking for themselves rather than eating out as much.
“And they are being more adventurous in the kind of meals they cook at home,” said Wilkinson.
She continued that shoppers buy more ingredients or kits to make popular classics like curry or Chinese stir fry. Tesco had also noticed customers branching out into Japanese, Thai, or Korean cuisines.
“We are trying to expand our offering to meet this demand and to inspire home cooks with new ingredients and kits to help them to feel confident in making something new and delicious.”