Sweet or Savoury? Shopping Trends for Shrove Tuesday


Originally a sign of the beginning of spring and part of the preparations for Lent, Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day, has become a marked event on retailers and shoppers’ calendars across the country. From end of aisle displays to promotions on lemons, sugar and syrup, mySupermarket investigates the impact of pancake day’s popularity on shopping trends to help retailers identify opportunities and optimise their strategies for seasonal events for Pancake Day 2017 and beyond.

Homemade vs Store Bought
Traditionally made to use up cupboard leftovers, pancakes are a cheap and cheerful meal idea that can be customised in a variety of ways. Since the rise of the supermarkets and increasingly busy lifestyles however, retailers have capitalised on supplier demand for quick and easy readymade options. But has this affected shoppers looking for home baking supplies in February over the past 3 years?

In short, yes. There is a marked decrease in the number of shoppers using mySupermarket to research and buy home baking supplies in February over the past 3 years. In 2014 63,086 had searched for and added a product from the home baking section to their basket, whilst so far in 2017 only 14,343 have done so. Are we seeing a shift away from a nation of home bakers or are shoppers looking elsewhere for their baking supplies?

Who is making pancakes?
Suppliers and retailers may also like to know where their audience is based, especially if they are looking into launching a new product for Pancake Day 2018 or other seasonal events. Using our data, we identified that the top regions flipping out over Pancake Day are:

1. London
2. Southern England
3. North West England

Other regions of the UK aren’t shopping for Pancakes, batter or other home baking supplies in February 2017 as much as the regions above so would make risky testing grounds for launching new related products.

Top of the Toppings
We also looked into the popularity of pancake toppings since 2014 to see if retailers could benefit from launching new products in the category, either on or off promotion, in February 2018. The trend however suggests that popular, traditional toppings are on the decline with Golden syrup, Maple syrup, Nutella and chocolate spread all falling over the past 4 years.

Between 2014 and 2015 the number of shoppers adding golden syrup to their baskets dropped 29%, a further 22% in 2016 and almost 40% so far in 2017. Maple syrup sales have also dropped despite an increase in its usage amongst clean eating communities. Nutella, a national favourite, has also seen a drop in popularity with almost 40% less shoppers adding it to their basket in 2017 than 2016. A possible echo of recent negative media attention? Or maybe shoppers are looking for new ways to top their pancakes.


New Product Launches
Finally, we took a look at new products entering the Pancake Day line up in February and March over the previous years.

There’s a 6% increase in NPDs in 2015 but this falls sharply again in 2016. So far in 2017 less than 10 new items have appeared on shopper’s shelves in the Pancake & Waffles and Pancake & Batter categories on supermarket websites.

So what does it mean for your Brand?
It looks like the demand and stability of pancake products is currently a little uncertain. A combination of new shopping habits, changing tastes and an increase in readymade items may be affecting how shoppers spend their money in store and online around Pancake Day.

If you’re looking to capitalise on seasonal activity for 2018 you’d be wise to do your research in order to find the greatest opportunities. Despite a low number of NPDs related to Pancake Day at the moment, this could be an opportunity with low competition for any brand looking to make an impact in 2018.

Using mySupermarket Business Solutions retailers can access a wealth of data designed to help them optimise spend and minimalize the risk within their category. From identifying competitors pricing to shoppers habits to working out if a product if launched better on promotion or full price- mySupermarket can help. Find out more and get your free trial here now.