Retailers and food brands alike are leveraging recipe content to drive site visits and sales.
Those that can take consumers from recipe discovery stage to checkout undoubtedly have an advantage over those that only provide content. Retailers are best positioned to create the most frictionless journey, with many ensuring that all ingredients for a given recipe can be added to the shopping basket with one click. Although slightly behind the curve, Asda is the latest retailer to enable this feature on its website. It was first available through its app, but as the majority of online grocery shopping takes place through a website rather than an app, it was a good choice to enable the feature on its site.
While customers can filter by cuisine type, occasion, course and time to cook, there’s a missed opportunity to provide filters by dietary needs such as “vegetarian” and “vegan.” This is particularly important given that consumer searches on Google for these keywords have steadily increased over the past five years and are likely among the modifiers used when looking for recipes online.
Across all retailers in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Food UK, Ocado is the only one with recipe sections that enable brands to increase their product visibility. Philadelphia, for example, syndicates branded recipe content from its website to Ocado in which its products are first to be suggested in the list of products to add to basket. For other syndicated recipes, they are bylined or badged with brand logos for clear identification and brand awareness.
Asda is trying something new. It uses an in-house personalization engine to match recipe ingredients with products. Regular shoppers are prompted to populate their baskets with items based on their previous spending behavior, however, infrequent shoppers are more likely to be presented with private labels. For example, the branded ingredients for a chocolate s’mores cake are swapped for private labels once the meal is added to the basket. Cognizant of this pitfall, brands must concentrate efforts on getting into customers’ baskets through other means before they can start to reap the benefits of being a suggested product within online recipes.
Asda has also tried to set its offering apart from its comrades through a “pairings” section beneath each recipe, suggesting complimentary drinks or snacks to purchase. This could be a useful feature for customers, but how brands can influence their appearance in these sections remains a mystery.