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​Fakeaways: The New Trend in Cost-Effective Dining

​Fakeaways: The New Trend in Cost-Effective Dining

Posted by Emma on 4th Jun 2024

Britons increasingly turn to supermarket-bought "fakeaways" to enjoy restaurant-quality meals at home on a budget. According to sales data from Ocado, a leading online grocery retailer, the popularity of restaurant-branded products such as Franco Manca pizzas, Gourmet Burger Kitchen burgers, and Itsu meals has surged by over 50% in the past year.

The data indicates that these products are most frequently purchased for delivery on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, suggesting a preference for enjoying these meals as a weekend treat. Ocado's findings show that Franco Manca, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Leon, and Pizza Express items are particularly popular on Fridays, while Nando's, Wagamama, and Yo! Sushi are favoured on Sundays.

In addition to popular casual dining brands, Ocado's data reveals a growing interest in high-end dining experiences at home. Sales of sauces from Gymkhana, a Michelin two-star Indian restaurant in London, have increased by 111%, while sales of Hawksmoor steaks have risen by 32% over the past year. These figures highlight a trend towards bringing luxury dining into the home setting.

While restaurant-branded products may be slightly more expensive than generic or own-brand alternatives, they still offer a more affordable option than dining out or ordering delivery. For instance, a Franco Manca spicy salami and fried onion pizza cost £5.75 at Ocado, a significant saving compared to the £12.30 price tag in the restaurant or the £14.25 cost via Deliveroo. Reviews may suggest that these supermarket versions are not quite up to the restaurant standard, but they remain a popular choice for budget-conscious consumers, instilling confidence in their quality.

The trend for fakeaways is driven by changing consumer spending habits amid economic pressures. Ocado notes that consumers are making "difficult choices" about their spending. A recent survey by Savanta found that three-quarters of Britons are more mindful of their expenditure on takeaways and dining out than a year ago. This shift in spending behaviour is also reflected in Just Eat's data, which shows a 6% drop in order numbers in 2023 compared to the previous year.

A decade ago, few major restaurant chains sold their products in grocery stores. Today, most have made this transition. Pizza Express, one of the pioneers in this space, now sells nearly twice as many pizzas in supermarkets as in its restaurants. However, big fast-food brands like McDonald's, Burger King, and KFC have largely refrained from entering the supermarket sector. These brands' existing affordability and potential transferability issues may deter them from this market.

In contrast, some brands like Greggs have found success with specific products. Greggs's sausage rolls, sold in the frozen food chain Iceland, have received overwhelmingly positive reviews, with one customer sharing their enthusiasm by saying, "I share a pack with my dog for breakfast every Saturday and Sunday morning."