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3 min read

Lockdown Cooking Searches: Feeding Your Marketing Strategy

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

In the way most posts start at the moment, we have to acknowledge the circumstances we find ourselves in. But, for some businesses, the pandemic has opened up the opportunity to pivot a business or to react to what is a very rapidly changing market and series of events. 

One sector is FMCG, or fast-moving consumer goods, predominantly most items you would find in the supermarket. We have all seen the trends in people flocking to stockpile toilet roll and then tinned food and flour, but what is really happening beyond the headlines?

With things moving so rapidly, we wanted to look into the trends worldwide and show brands where they could be focussing and adapting strategies. We have opted to use search data from Google’s keyword planner looking at the lockdown recipes the world really has been searching for, is it really just banana bread? Or have people used this opportunity to really experiment and how does this differ between countries?


Inputting the seed term ‘recipe’ into keyword planner exported all searches up until April 2019. The data shows the percentage of changes and the numerical change in terms of searches from April 2019 to March 2020. 

The rationale behind this is that year-on-year comparisons remove any seasonality, so we can be pretty sure that any change is due to COVID-19 and not due to it being a month where banana bread is usually baked every day…

In the analysis of the 47 countries across the world that have had some form of lockdown over the past few weeks, and all search terms related to recipes, we set about finding the recipes most in-demand during the pandemic. 

The findings can be found below and SHOCKINGLY it isn’t all about banana bread, it seems each country has its own fads. However, it’s safe to say all of the results could be considered as some form of comfort food – something we all need right now!

Using the percentage change in searches April 2019 v March 2020, it seems the pandemic forced the UK to bake bread, with a bog-standard loaf seemingly the antidote to the stress. While Lithuania opted for the perfect cinnamon roll, Kenya perfected its focaccia making skills.

To view the full data set, click here.

If you are keen to try any of the recipes yourself, we have included a link to 20 of our favourite lockdown nation’s recipes below:

The research reveals exactly what people want to see during this lockdown and this seems like it could be a huge win for FMCG brands if they are quick and able to adapt and react to the sudden changes in demand from consumers. 

Of course, it isn’t as simple as that, but marketing and communications should be quick to adapt, as is the nature with digital marketing and this insight could be key to making the most out of a bad situation.

Can you use any of the data above to adapt your marketing or content strategy right now?