As the Coronavirus continues to affect the world in stressful and unpredictable ways, many people have found themselves utilizing foods and ingredients that would otherwise be left sitting on their shelves until expiry. This trend of pantry raiding has encouraged experimentation among consumers, essentially forcing people to try out all of the wacky and potentially unorthodox foods that may have ended up in their cupboards one way or another. Combined with shortages of certain foods and ingredients due to COVID-19, and pantry raiding cooking has blown up in mainstream popularity, as everyone looks for new and exciting recipes using everything from cans of creamed corn to frozen chicken sausage.

The most prominent influence of this trend is its encouragement of consumers to widen their collective palettes, trying out new foods that they might have otherwise never eaten. Irregular and unpredictable supply of certain items has made people far more open to trying these foods, and learning to harness the collective imagination of consumers can reinvigorate the excitement behind at-home cooking on a budget. Whether it’s creating new recipes from bargain bin ingredients or utilizing strange canned foods that can last on home shelves for years, capitalizing on this trend can help to continue broadening the flavor and fragrance tolerances of consumers everywhere. One good example of this would be the resurgence in meatloaf’s popularity, and the many unique recipes that come with it. Between certain meat shortages, unique spice choices, and an abundance of frozen foods, unique meatloaf recipes have been one of the hottest trends among pantry chefs everywhere.

Another great aspect of pantry raiding cooking is that it also ties in with the aforementioned zero waste trend, making consumers far more aware of how to use the ingredients they’ve got to create something new, rather than constantly running out to the store the moment they eat the last package of frozen chicken nuggets. Snacking is a huge trend due to COVID-19, and with more people eating more frequently throughout the day, having a good variety of foods to choose from can make all the difference for mainstream consumers. By creating products and guides that encourage “pantry raid” style recipes, producers can kill two birds with one stone by allowing consumers to broaden their palettes via new flavors while reducing the overall waste coming out of their households.

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