Valentine’s Day will see an increase in demand for romantic meal kits and in-speriences

With Valentine’s Day around the corner and foodservice outlets either closed or providing takeaway only due to the current lockdown, leading data and analytics company GlobalData anticipates an explosion of interest in romantic meal kits as people seek to create intimate, restaurant-quality dinners at home. The company’s most recent research found that just under *one in four UK consumers (24%) expect to buy more meals as takeaways from restaurants than before the pandemic.

Ryan Whittaker, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Throughout 2020, we saw a significant shift towards people recreating out-of-home experiences within the home. Several people made bars in their gardens in the summer, Diageo reported a boost to its spirits sales as people made cocktails at home, and the end of 2020 saw demand for full Christmas meal kits skyrocket. As UK consumers in 2021 are still unable to visit their favorite restaurants, we expect many will buy the next best thing – Valentine’s meal kits to recreate at home.”

In addition to food and meal kits, increased demand for cocktail ingredients, gin, Baileys and ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages suggests that in-home alcoholic experiences are also growing in popularity. Diageo reported double-digit rising revenues for Gordon’s gin in the UK in the latter half of 2020, along with increases in Baileys and RTD beverages.

Whittaker explains: “Many of the RTD and pre-mixed alcoholic cocktail brands, as well as home delivery from local bars, facilitate experiences in the home, providing convenient emulations of the going-out experience and moments of excitement and indulgence.

“The changes in demand for more at-home experiential fare should be embraced by foodservice providers. The desire for novelty extends as much to meal kits and takeaways as it does cocktails; people like to engage with brands that make their at-home experience better, more exciting or funny. Restaurants, pubs and bars still have a golden opportunity to capture at-home consumption share from supermarkets and other retailers by offering something the supermarkets cannot; in-speriences will be a solid investment until the end of lockdowns and likely beyond. Innovating at-home experiences will provide a much-needed boost to local pubs and restaurants, which will be vital for their survival in 2021.”

*GlobalData’s COVID-19 Recovery Tracker – UK, Published December 7th 2020 – combined responses: “Strongly agree”, and “Somewhat agree”

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