Brits set to continue biggest scratch cooking and baking boom for decades into Christmas

The biggest scratch cooking and baking boom in decades – which came about as a result of this year’s first lockdown – will continue into Christmas.

That’s the prediction from Tesco which is already seeing soaring demand for traditional festive home cooking and baking favourites such as goose fat, turkey gravy, mincemeat and seasonal baking kits.

The forecast is backed up by a snapshot of 2000 Brits, interviewed as part of the Tesco Christmas Report 2020*, of which 85 per cent revealed that they would cook at least part of their dinner from scratch. A third stated that Christmas, this year, had never seemed more important.

Favourite foods set to be cooked from scratch by home chefs this Christmas will be: potatoes (58 per cent); roasted veg (54 per cent) and sauces (44 per cent). However, only 28 per cent said they would be making their own pigs in blankets.

And early November sales for seasonal cooking ingredients bear testimony to the prediction with demand for:

  • Goose fat – up 100 per cent versus the same time last year
  • Mincemeat (for mince pies) – up by 80 per cent
  • Puff and shortbread pastry – up by 90 per cent
  • Bread Sauce mixes – up 70 per cent
  • Whole cloves (for mulled wine) – up by more than 60 per cent
  • Free From Seasonal Baking Kits – up 50 per cent
  • Turkey gravy – up by more than 30 per cent

Tesco Cooking Ingredients buyer Paul Curtis said: 

“This year has seen the biggest boom for scratch cooking and baking in living memory and as we move into the Christmas season, that trend shows no sign of abating. 

“We’re already seeing high demand for typical ingredients used in baking seasonal treats and staples such as mince pies, gingerbread and biscuits for the festive feast as customers look to stagger their shopping time and avoid the Christmas squeeze. 

“Judging by sales in the last few weeks and the continuing high demand we’ve seen for ingredients likes herbs and spices since the first lockdown started, many people will be putting their hearts into cooking up a feast this Christmas.” 

The Christmas scratch cooking trend is also being noticed by British Pepper & Spice, the leading UK herbs and spices supplier, who are already seeing massive uplifts in demand in the following seasonal kitchen ingredients:

  • Cinnamon sticks – up 420 per cent
  • Dried juniper berries – up 275 per cent
  • Whole nutmeg – up by 75 per cent

Rachael Bouch, Managing Director at British Pepper & Spice, said:

“For many people Christmas 2020 will be more special than usual because of the challenging year it’s been and cooking is a great way of bringing the family together and having fun in the kitchen with your loved ones.

We’ve already seen an exceptional demand for herbs and spices since the first lockdown started and judging by recent sales of seasonal ingredients, the scratch cooking boom is going to continue at this key time.”

According to Kantar data, the initial lockdown months of March until May saw half a billion more meals made from scratch at home compared with an average 12 week period in the last year.**

While pubs and restaurants were closed, many people, having more time on their hands, brushed up on their cookery skills and began digging out recipes for meals.


Note to editors:

*Tesco conducted Opinium research with 2,011 nationally representative UK adults (aged 18+) between 27th August and 1st September. The research also includes insights gained from Tesco sales data from millions of customers across the UK during the 12 weeks of Christmas in both 2018 and 2019.  

**Retail analysts Kantar use a panel of people who keep food diaries which captures in-depth data such as what was cooked, who ate it, when it was eaten, what motivated the choice, how much was spent and more.

  • Tesco has just launched a new range of home bake lines on the back of the current homebaking trend. These include Finest range rolling icings with a shimmer dusting; Three Finest frostings; and a brand new Finest Belgian Chocolate Ganache.

You may also like