Could recipe shopping give us back the joy of discovery?

14 may 2021

Erik Wallin

Discoverability used to be all about in-store product placement. Not any more.

"The shifts in consumer behaviour that the pandemic has produced mean we need to rethink discoverability," comments Mark Rogers, VP of Growth at Northfork. "There is a challenge there for retailers, publishers and consumer packaged goods companies alike. There's also a solution - the rapid evolution of recipe shopping."

Recipe shopping for the new normal

New Hope recently lamented the loss of enjoyment of discoverability. Gone are the days of slowly browsing a freshly stocked end cap packed with exciting new products. Shopping now tends to be rapid and functional - or online.

With the latter, though, there is a chance to reintroduce discoverability in new ways, through recipe and menu shopping - as Michael La Kier of What Brands Want points out:

"As digital shopping takes a greater share of the wallet, testing new strategies to aid discoverability and incentivise purchase are required. Authentically and organically adding your brand to online content that facilitates discovery benefits both the consumer and the brand."

Northfork's work with ICA, Sweden's largest retailer, highlighted the potential of this. Recipe shopping needed to provide a smooth experience across small and large stores, with over 200 different product selections and little to no overlap. The answer was a blend of Smart Cart functionality and realtime availability checking. The work also showed the huge potential that recipes have in terms of product discoverability.

The joy of discovery

"Recipe shopping that auto-fills the consumer's cart has plenty of scope for ingredient discovery," comments Northfork's Mark Rogers. "And the recipe generation process can reignite the joy of discovery in terms of menu planning. Tech can give back something that many consumers don't even realise they have lost. That's exciting."

McKinsey points out that value and lifestyle agendas are also playing into consumer shifts. This presents an opportunity for retailers, publishers and CPGs to support consumers to discover new recipes and new ingredients; vegan recipes and brands are an obvious example.

In the hyper-competitive online grocery retail environment, using tech to deliver discoverability could be the edge that companies need.