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No longer does he have to steal the infamous Krabby Patty recipe, but instead get it for free on his Twitter thread. Well, that’s what big names in the foodservice industry are resorting to in order to say afloat while their onsite restaurants remain indefinitely closed.

It’s been mentioned before, but digitalization is bridging the gap between consumers and operators like never before. Fiercely driven by the Covid-19 outbreak, operators are forced to change long-running strategies and enter a new, digital era. The latest example of how social media is being used in this way comes from Nandos, which has shared the secret behind its peri-peri rice bowl recipe.

But why would a company willingly give up its ‘secret’ recipe to the public domain? Doesn’t this limit its competitive edge? Well no, not really. There is much more to these moves than a simple marketing gimmick, or maintaining consumer engagement.

Of course, whilst the recipe itself is simple and easy to make, it requires one very special ingredient – Nando’s very own peri-peri sauce. This offers operators an opportunity to flaunt their recipes whilst cleverly selling their merchandise, much in the same way Hollywood movies are used to sell kid’s action figures.

In order to perfectly replicate the taste of their favourite dish, consumers are often willing to buy a branded product, even if similar, cheaper alternatives exist – as per GlobalData’s Covid-19 Consumer Survey, 50% of consumers worldwide stated that they are currently trying to only buy from their favourite brands*.

This further ties into the increasing trend of cocooning that has been reported since lockdown measures were implemented, as consumers attempt to replicate on-trade experiences and products within the comfort of their own homes.

What’s more, players such as Nandos have garnered a strong and loyal following, principally on the basis of having one clear speciality; chicken. Therefore, it is no surprise that consumers will be willing to splash out to replicate this familiar taste, as well as show their support for the company during tough times.

And, as for Nandos the company is able to maintain a steady flow of revenue, even if somewhat small, through what was originally a minority business for the brand, advertising its sauces and salts in a subtle and creative way.

Sources: *GlobalData Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tracker Consumer Survey – global – Week 2 (April 6, 2020)

For more insight and data, visit the GlobalData Consumer Intelligence Centre

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