NEW YORK — More millennials will take charge in preparing holiday meals this year, according to a survey from Chicory, a New York-based tech firm. They will take the coronavirus (COVID-19) and food safety into consideration, which means preparing more casseroles and pies that are served with utensils and less finger food served by hand. Simple recipes should be in demand, too.
Chicory in the survey conducted in September explored data and trends across its shoppable recipe network, which is made up of 5.4 million recipes around 1,450 recipe sites and visited by 100 million unique visitors per month. First-party consumer surveys also were conducted.
The survey found 59% of millennials planned to cook holiday meals and host holiday celebrations for the first time this year. Many millennials will not go to their parents’ house and instead host immediate family and friends in events similar to small “quarantine bubbles” happening now, said Yuni Sameshima, co-founder and chief executive officer of Chicory. Among all age groups, 71% said they planned to celebrate the holidays in smaller groups.
“From a consumer perspective, the big thing is going to be smaller groups,” Mr. Sameshima said.
People are seeking simple recipes as “easy” is one of the most searched words on the internet when people seek recipes, he said.
At Thanksgiving, pies, casseroles and other baked foods should be ample, but tables might not see any finger foods, dips and spreads.
“They are not going to be using their hands to serve food,” said Shanna Zhou, public relations manager at Chicory.
Brands have an opportunity to provide solutions for people who will seek easy pre-meal appetizer replacements for safe handling and serving practices, according to Chicory.
Chicory in 2019 found a 178% increase in recipe views for casseroles from June to Thanksgiving. The percentage might be even higher this year. Ms. Zhou said a surge in pasta casseroles like lasagna could lead to more center-of-store sales for dry pasta and pasta sauce in jars. Pumpkin pies, apple pies and warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg should be popular.
Shareable bites probably will be scarce at Christmas, too. Branded products should be able to work in safely portioned baked foods, pies and casseroles, according to Chicory. Smaller pack sizes should perform well.
Chicory foresees two other holiday trends: people ordering groceries online and watching their budgets. Chicory found 46% more consumers plan on ordering groceries online this year compared to last year, and 70% said they plan to be more price-conscious when purchasing holiday groceries.
“We’re seeing a lot of consumers thinking about couponing: More budgeting this year compared to this time last year, obviously for a lot of reasons, like the economy,” Mr. Sameshima said.