Stocks and Savings

Louis Hadley
September 20, 2021

During the pandemic, home cooking skyrocketed. With restaurants shut and with consumers having time on their hands many turned their attention and effort to cooking from scratch. 

As well as being healthier, this home cooking boom acted as a way to cope. Cooking provided an outlet for many. Research suggests that cooking has positive mental benefits, the physicality of it, the shared nature of the experience and the certainty of putting time and effort into something and having an end product.

Streetbees research shows that home cooking is here to stay, and as consumers are getting more knowledgeable and confident in their culinary skills their recipe repertoire is expanding. 

This is good news for the likes of consumer packaged goods (CPG brands)who produce sauces, condiments, dressings, and spice mixes. With restaurants closed and travel restricted many became hungry for new experiences or to recreate their favorite restaurant dishes. As a result the category is still seeing a boom. For example:

  • The refrigerated salad dressing category saw double-digit growth of 11.7% 
  • Total branded sales of table sauces are up 20.7% in value.

As grocers and CPG brands go head-to-head with restaurants again, they’ll have to work hard to make cooking easy and appealing so they hold on to their pandemic-fueled market share gains. 

One way in which they can appeal is through cost. The pandemic has hit many consumers’ wallets hard, and Mexican consumers are some of the hardest hit. Speaking to our bees (consumers) in Mexico one in three tell us they have either lost money or not been able to save due to COVID. 

“It makes me feel very worried since I have lost my main source of income, it happened to affect me a lot in the sense that I had to close a business that I managed.” Female, 28

The situation is made worse by inflation which has quickened to around 6% in the second quarter of 2021 driven by fuel and food prices. One example of this is tortilla prices which rose 2.6% in May 2021 compared to the previous month. 

Money conscious consumers in Mexico are turning away from branded items and trying to make more expensive ingredients, such as meat, a less frequent purchase, as ways to cut back on spend. 

“Some products I have stopped consuming such as Yoplait yogurt because it has risen in price. I also used to buy Marinela bars, mccormick jam and bimbo toast bread but we have not bought it anymore. We eat more food in grains, fruits, vegetables and tortillas” Male, 32

“Lately we have to vary the foods because we cannot go out and some foods have had a significant increase in their price, there are days in which we consume foods such as vegetables and tuna, however every third or fourth day of the week we consume red meat” Male 26 

With an increase in Mexican consumers cooking from scratch and cash strapped consumers looking to make their meals go further, Knorr® has spotted an opportunity developing a new product that meets the two needs of the market; cooking nutritious and abundant food (that satisfies entire families) and taking care of their pockets. With the New More Yield from Knorr , the company offers an option to achieve these objectives, by offering a product that makes meat go further, and infusing dishes with delicious flavour. For example in a dish like meatballs with its new product can now make half as much again compared to the previous variant. 

Cost is just one of the key drivers that is fuelling the growth in home cooking and the knock-on affect on the condiment and sauces category.

If you’re interested in finding out more, sign up to our upcoming webinar, The Condiment Conundrum here.