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Side Delights potatoes meet post-pandemic consumer needs

Side Delights announced multiple solutions to shopping habits, from cooking at home and pantry-stocking to preferences on plant-based meals.

Four years after the onset of the pandemic, data shows a sustained surge in consumers opting to cook at home. Despite initial expectations that dining out would return to pre-pandemic habits, consumers have embraced recipes and the enjoyment of preparing meals in their own homes for their friends and families while developing their skills in the kitchen.sdf

Home cooks credited the ability to create quick, budget-friendly meals and experiment with new recipes and ingredients as key reasons they continue to lean into staying home. When choosing a recipe, 76 percent of home cooks stated their top consideration as whether they have the ingredients on hand, and (40 percent) listed “pantry-friendly” as a go-to cooking “vibe” for 2024.

“You need a well-stocked pantry to get dinner on the table night after night, and during the pandemic, there was an increase in demand for pantry-stable items,” said Kathleen Triou, president and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network. “Affordable and shelf-stable, potatoes fit the go-to cooking vibe.”

Healthy eating habits also remain a top post-pandemic priority. Data from the 2024 consumer expenditures study revealed that most shoppers now self-identify as “health-conscious,” and one of the most frequently purchased items at a grocery store within the past month is fresh produce. Industry experts predict that as the plant-based trend continues to make the list of Top 10 Food Trends of 2024, consumers want suppliers to “Put the ‘plant’ back in plant-based," perfectly positioning potatoes as shopper staple.

These shopper habits necessitate grocery stores to reevaluate their store offerings to cater to the growing demand for home-cooking-centric products and solutions.

“With a focus on healthy eating, home cooking, and budget-friendly shopping, pantry stocking is having a moment again,” said Triou. “Side Delights potatoes provide retailers with cost-effective, healthy and time-saving shopper options for the pantry to the plate.”

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