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5 Tips to Combat Recession 2021

Posted on 09/02/2021

The effects of the past 12 months will be felt across the whole economy, and unfortunately that means recession for some or all of 2021. That doesn’t mean we’ll all stop eating out (or ordering delivery) that’s why we’ve focused part of our Food Trends Report on how to combat recession 2021, with 5 tips for consideration.

This is an extract from our 2021 Food Trends Report, click here to get the full version.

We've listed 5 key considerations based around the recessionary mindset for you take on 2021 and plan for the road ahead.

Recessionary Consumer Mindset

The mindsets of consumers don't necessarily change during a recession, purchases can still be grouped into three categories, necessity, comfort and luxury.  

Recessionary Mindset 2021

Necessity Products

Consumers seeking a necessity product are generally looking to sustain themselves with a meal or drink. In a recession, price sensitivity is more prevalent due to limited disposable income. So look at your menu and include dishes that communicate value and other messages such as, convenience, sustainability, or health.

Comfort Goods

Comfort eating will play a big part of consumer spending during 2021, recession or no recession. With summer holidays scrapped, lockdowns, and many other leisure times severely limited, people want to enjoy themselves and comfort food helps. As well as your typical comfort foods such as burgers, look at sweet treats and snack pots to take advantage opportunities outside of mealtimes.

Luxury Food & Drink

There are big opportunities for luxury food and drink even during a recession. Those lucky enough to be financially secure have very little to spend their money on in the current climate so the market for luxury home delivered food and drink has grown. These types of products lend themselves well to special occasions and celebrations.

Maximise the success of your restaurant during recessionary times by ensuring you have a solid mix of necessity, comfort and luxury on your menu.

Price it Right

As part of our Home Delivery Report, we interviewed 1,000 people to understand what price they would expect to pay for a home delivery. The chart shows the breakdown of answers and that over half of the respondents would expect to pay between £6-£10 for delivered food.

That doesn't mean that customers will only spend this amount, in a recession, consumers tend to focus on the cost of the main, but they are also going to be tempted with side orders and extras and can end up with a higher value order.

Ensuring you have meal deals and tempting cross sells on your menu is a great way to increase order values.

Consumer Food Pricing Sweet Spot

Add Profitable Sides

As mentioned in the previous section, cross sells and extras can ramp up your order values. Focus on those comfort eaters and luxury diners to tempt your customers into adding to their orders.

Look for sides that slot into different flavour profiles, that have high margins, are easy to prepare, and travel well for delivery and collection.

Add Profitable Sides

Top 10 Delivered Items During 2020

To look forwards, it's always wise to look back, using NPD Group figures, we've listed the top 10 delivered food items during the various lockdowns of 2020:

Top 10 Delivered Food Items

Luxe Staying In

We mentioned Luxury Food & Drink previously, this trend certainly took hold over 2020 and with 2021 limiting leisure time for consumers, at least until the Spring, those with stable incomes want to add a little bit of luxury to their lives.

Ideal for family meals, which saw big gains for delivery in 2020, birthday celebrations and special occasions, luxury dining provides that 'something special'.

Luxury Staying In

Add a Hyper-Luxury Item to Your Menu

We'll paraphrase Harvard Business Review, which stated that restaurant owners often underestimate the consumer's willingness to spend and the number who might upgrade.  Adding a high value option on your menu can pull in high-spending customers and can even push up sales of your previously highest priced items. There are also advantages in that these hyper-luxury offers tend to attract interest so are therefore a great PR and marketing opportunity to get your restaurant's name in front of potential diners.

Recession 2021 Tips and Beyond

Necessity, comfort, and luxury offerings are all subjective, a luxury menu item for one restaurant/consumer might be £20, whereas others could be over £200. You'll know what's right for your business and your customers.

The principles of this mindset are what is important. Look to satisfy consumer needs, from a necessary lunch time meal to an end-of-week comfort treat, through to celebrating a birthday in luxury, and you'll be well placed to prosper throughout recession 2021 and carry on the success when we're out of it.

Download the full 2021 Food Trends Report

Want to discover all the food trends we expect to be on the tip of everyone's tongue during 2021? Download the 2021 Food Trends Report here.

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2021 Food Trends Report

Fill in your details to get the 2021 Food Trends Report delivered to your email. Covering everything from world foods, flavour trends, through to recessionary spend and adapting business models, the report will give you plenty to think about. 

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