McCormick leans on influencers, digital engagement to keep consumers in the kitchen as restaurants reopen

“During the pandemic, everyone gravitated to eating at home, learning how to cook and the idea of eating healthy and knowing exactly what was going into their body. We think those trends will continue,”​ Michael Okoroafor, VP of global sustainability & packaging innovation at McCormick & Co., told FoodNavigator-USA.

“There are several things that are driving that. One is this idea of choice and consumers really thinking about what they want to eat and when they want to eat​,” and choosing exactly the ingredients or dishes that meet those needs, he explained.

In addition, as the pandemic progressed and consumers learned more about the connection between diet and their health they also gravitated to spices that could reduce or replace sugar, salt and fat to create flavorful meals that were better for them – something that is easier to control at home than in restaurants where there is less nutrition transparency, Okoroafor said.

Plus, he added, after 15 months of practicing in their kitchens during the pandemic, consumers are more comfortable cooking and experimenting with different flavors, spices and cuisines, making them less reliant on restaurants for those flavors and experiences.

Many consumers also are proud of what they have learned and are eager to share and further develop their skills with each other by creating their own cooking shows on Tik Tok or posting recipes and pictures on social media.

To tap into consumers digital engagement around cooking and further empower them to experiment in the kitchen, McCormick is working with its own culinary experts to share new recipes and cooking tips online.

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