Waitrose Food and Drink Report 2021-2022
Our report reveals how we’ve we’ve become a nation of homebodies, why potato milk is set to be the next food trend and how TikTok is influencing our shopping lists.
“The past 19 months have seen us fall back in love with our homes. We’ve rediscovered the fun, creativity and sense of togetherness that food brings to our households and many have embraced the inspiration that we get from popping to the shops to pick up our groceries. The majority of the people we surveyed told us the pandemic has fundamentally changed their outlook: they’re more conscious of their mental and physical health, they’re enjoying life’s simple pleasures, and they’ve embraced the importance of family and friends.” (JAMES BAILEY Partner & Executive Director)
But enjoying being at home isn’t the same as being antisocial. Quite the opposite, in fact. We’re unwinding with bursts of hospitality and blasts of ‘pop-up hedonism’. There is a pent-up need to reconnect with loved ones. A quarter of those surveyed plan to host more dinner parties than they did previously. These gatherings are likely to be smaller than before, but no less important: many hosts are trading up when it comes to their hosting menus. We’re also making smarter use of our outdoor spaces. One in five households invested in a new barbecue over lockdown, while one in 10 installed an outdoor bar.
Of course, the pandemic has changed how we shop too. A quarter of our respondents bought food online for the first time this year, while the number of people shopping every day of the week has doubled in a year. We’ve adapted accordingly, increasing capacity on waitrose.com from 50,000 orders a week to up to 300,000. We’ve also ramped up our partnership with on-demand grocery delivery app Deliveroo, with some interesting results (see pages 18-19). But our stores still remain crucial. In fact, they’ve become ‘one-stop shops’, with John Lewis products becoming increasingly available in Waitrose stores. For example, we’ve extended the priceconscious ANYDAY range of homeware in our branches, meaning you can pick up cooking equipment along with your dinner. And our Click & Collect service adds convenience and flexibility. Half of those we spoke to tell us they plan to shop in physical stores more often now that restrictions have eased.