The Rise of the Air Fryer: A Significant Shift in Consumer Behaviour and Kitchen Practices
Andreas Duess, MD North America / COO
Based on the latest data, it’s clear that air fryers are not just a passing trend but a significant shift in consumer behaviour and kitchen practices. Their popularity has surged in recent years, with companies like Nestle and Tyson Foods betting on this trend to grow their sales.
We have achieved significant sales lift for our clients by simply adding air fryer specific instructions to the packaging.
The UK Market: Supermarkets Catering to the Air Fryer Trend
In the UK, the supermarket chain Iceland has even dedicated an entire aisle to food designed to be cooked in air fryers. This move reflects the growing demand for this modern kitchen gadget.
The aisle, which is part of a trial at one Food Warehouse store in London, features approximately 287 items. These items mainly consist of frozen foods, along with instructions on how to cook them.
Consumer research company Which? found some interesting statistics about air fryer usage in the UK. Around 46% of households have bought an air fryer in the last five years, and 44% of owners are using their ovens less.
Over half (57%) of respondents said they use them multiple times a week, with 20% using them every day. Furthermore, 68% claim that affordability was the primary reason for switching, and 72% of Brits would like to see air fryer cooking instructions on food packaging.
The US Market: A Billion-Dollar Industry
In the US, consumers spent nearly $1 billion buying air fryers in 2022, up 51% from 2019, according to market research firm The NPD Group.
Sales of the cooking appliance have been soaring since 2017, and they received an extra boost during the early days of the pandemic as people cooked more at home. The main draw is the appliance’s ease and speed, plus achieving a crispy texture without deep-frying.
Food Manufacturers Capitalizing on the Trend
Food manufacturers are capitalizing on this trend. Nestle, for instance, has launched pizza bites under its DiGiorno and Stouffer’s brands, both of which include air-fried cooking instructions on their packaging.
Tyson Foods launched its air-fried line in 2019, and the products, ranging from chicken strips to parmesan-seasoned chicken bites, contain 75% less fat.
Tyson is also a third of the way through adding air fryer directions to its packaging for its frozen prepared foods.
Health Benefits and Changing Eating Habits
The rise of air fryers is changing the way we cook and eat. It’s not just about the convenience and speed of cooking, but also the health benefits.
They use a fraction of the oil used in traditional frying methods, resulting in food that is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, with significantly less fat. This aligns with the growing consumer trend towards healthier eating habits.
The Future of Air Fryers
In conclusion, the popularity of air fryers is a testament to the evolving consumer behaviour in the kitchen.
As more households embrace this cooking method, we can expect to see more future innovations in this space. Whether it’s a dedicated supermarket aisle or new food products, it’s clear that air fryers are here to stay and will continue to shape our cooking and eating habits.
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