Grocery shoppers are changing. They want foods that are quick and convenient, but they demand high quality, as well. One quarter of shoppers say that their top priorities in food are short ingredient lists that only include ingredients that they recognize. Sous vide is a great way to give them what they want and keep them coming back to your brand.
Why Sous Vide?
The sous vide method of cooking offers brands a way to make foods that are flavorful and tender without a lot of the complicated ingredients that turn off modern shoppers. Food is cooked at low temperature—the precise temperature of the finished product—in a sealed bag over the course of several hours. Aromatic ingredients have time to penetrate the food, giving it great flavor. Less fat is actually better with sous vide, so diners that are looking for high protein, low fat meals can enjoy great taste and texture.
In many households, there is no longer a primary grocery shopper. Grocery shopping, cooking and other household chores are split up more than ever, with everyone pitching in and doing their share. Households are more likely to include several adults who all work outside the home. Because of the new normal, people don't have as much time to cook and less likely to be sharing mealtimes with one another. Ready-to-eat items solve their problems of wanting good food, but not having the time or household size to warrant cooking a large meal.
Including a "cooked sous vide" label communicates great quality and convenience to your customers. Dishes can be made ready to eat so all they have to do is take them home and heat them up. They get a perfectly cooked meal full of natural ingredients without having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Each household member can quickly prepare their own portion and enjoy a great meal no matter how busy they are.
Educating Customers about Sous Vide
This style of cooking is getting more and more popular among home cooks. Sous vide recipes show up not just on modernist cuisine sites, but also many mainstream cooking outlets. Curious cooks are even improvising sous vide cookers at home using beer coolers and thermometers to control cooking temperatures. But for every culinary experimenter out there, there is another consumer who loves to watch cooking shows or read about cooking methods online who does not have the time or inclination to cook themselves. Grocery shoppers who know what sous vide is, but don't want to go to the trouble of buying an expensive home cooker or making their own, are likely to pick up an item with a "cooked sous vide" label so they can see the results of this cooking method themselves.
Then there are also consumers who don't know about sous vide at all, but that doesn’t mean a sous vide label won’t be a value point for these shoppers—if you take the time to educate them. Host in-store tastings where your representatives talk about why you have chosen sous vide as your cooking method. Create short videos and articles that they can look up online to learn more. Educate them about the health advantages of this cooking method. Grocery shoppers looking for simple, tasty meals that don’t have the additives of a traditional RTE meal will be pleased to see the label once they understand the method behind it.
As shopping and cooking habits change, successful manufacturers will find ways to accommodate them. Use the "cooked sous vide" label to attract busy grocery shoppers who value both convenience and great taste. The excellent quality and easy preparation of sous vide meals will keep them coming back and cement their relationship with your brand.