Consumers Moving Away From Traditional Easter Foods

As many shoppers start stocking up on Easter essentials for the coming weekend, new research from IGD reveals it may not be the traditional staples in their baskets. Indeed, it seems traditional Easter fare of what shoppers are choosing to eat this weekend could be evolving, as while Lamb remains the national preference (20%), other Easter alternatives are rising in popularity too. Indeed, this Easter, nearly as many shoppers are planning to cook fish as a main dish (12%) as they are chicken (13%), with twice as many women planning to buy fish this weekend than men (16% vs. 8%). Beef (8%) and pork (6%) are also on the menu.

Furthermore, it seems that some shoppers are even moving on from the conventional Easter Sunday lunch, with 26% opting for weekend-long celebrations that extend beyond cooking one big meal, and a fifth admitting to having not yet made plans in the week leading up to the event (21%). In addition, over four in ten (43%) food and grocery shoppers admit to treating the holiday as just a long weekend. Provenance will also play a part this bank holiday, with 17% of shoppers saying they buy more British sourced food and grocery products at Easter.

With a focus on food comes an opportunity for business to trade up with shoppers in-store and online. Indeed, a fifth (20%) of shoppers say they tend to buy more food and groceries at Easter as they are likely to be entertaining. A further 22% of shoppers are planning to have a meal at home with their family or household on Easter Sunday, 9% are planning to attend a meal at someone else’s on the day and 6% are planning to host an Easter Sunday meal for extended family or friends.

Vanessa Henry, Shopper Insight Manager at IGD, said: “Our research shows a clear move away from the traditional Easter celebrations that centre around cooking one main meal on the Sunday of the bank holiday weekend with lamb being the conventional choice. Instead, shoppers are now viewing the holiday as a four-day event that brings with it multiple opportunities for meals and entertaining, one key part of which is experimenting with alternative main meal options such as fish and chicken.

“Retailers should see this as an opportunity to drive a broader range of different meal occasions instead of just the traditional one celebratory meal, and the spontaneous nature of shopper planning for the holiday means businesses can successfully engage with their customers up until the last minute to influence and support with meal planning. Although most shoppers aren’t planning to eat out over the bank holiday to celebrate Easter, the large proportion of those without plans presents a last-minute opportunity for out-of-home as well as for dining in.”

While over half of shoppers (58%) say they don’t celebrate Easter like they did when they were children, one celebration that appears to have stood the test of time is the traditional Easter egg, with over half (51%) of shoppers planning to mark the event with chocolate treats. However, it seems that it may be more than once that shoppers are shopping to restock as nearly one in five (18%) claim that they end up eating the Easter eggs or confectionery before Easter and have to buy more.