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Consumers tackling food waste with search for leftover food recipes

14th Sep 2020 - 11:26
Using Google search data to discover which ingredients have become kitchen favourites suggests two things clearly – people are keen to use leftover food rather than bin it, and the UK remains a nation of meat-lovers.

At the same time, however, the figures compiled by Magnet Kitchens reveal an increasing interest in vegetarian recipes.

Looking at the period from March to July, the Top Ten most searched for leftover ingredients saw chicken clearly out in front, racking up 424,250 searches, followed by lamb, pork and beef. Also making the list was gammon coming in at number ten, and combined with the others meant that meat-based leftover searches amounted to about a million.

And what’s the most popular way people at home have been using their leftover chicken? It turns out to be chicken soup.

After the top four meats came rice, mashed potato, bread, potatoes and cheese.

Digging deeper into the search data, researchers found that the popularity of vegetarianism has had a noticeable impact on the content of our fridges and recipes, with a rise of 334,000 in searches for vegetarian recipes noted during the lockdown.

And looked at on a year-by-year comparison it seems that 2020 is the year we reverted to more traditional cupboard staples, with far fewer searches this year for pinto beans, refried beans and masa.

The analysis also reveals that, during lockdown, we cooked with more local vegetables - cabbage the most sought-after ingredient, followed closely by beans, spinach, and carrots.

Perhaps due to the nationwide banana bread obsession of March and April, bananas were the most searched for fruit, followed by tomatoes and strawberries.

You read see the full research here:


Written by
David Foad