Waitrose toasts the Nigella effect

Nigella Lawson’s new TV show ‘Simply Nigella’ and cookbook of the same name recently shared the celebrity cook’s favourite twist on avocado on toast. As a result, sales of the fruit at Waitrose have soared 30% year-on-year.

‘Simply Nigella’ aired on BBC Two on Monday November 2. The tie-in cookbook to the six-part series was published on October 8 and has already entered the best sellers book chart.It aims to ‘tap into the rhythms of our cooking lives, with recipes that are uncomplicated, relaxed and yet always satisfying’.

The supermarket has also reported a spike in sales of Nigella seeds which are used throughout the cookbook and feature on the show too. A popular ingredient in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, sales of the seeds are up 175% week on week. Nigella uses this ingredient for a lamb ribs recipe.

Previous recipes by Nigella have boosted sales of ingredients at Waitrose in the past, including prunes which were used in a Christmas cake, goose fat for roasted potatoes and Advocaat for snowball cocktails.
Avocado and tomato on toast is ranked in the top five most watched food videos on WaitroseTV (the supermarket’s online food channel) and the Waitrose Food & Drink report recently revealed that the fruit is the most pinned food on the online scrapbook, Pinterest, in the UK.

Avocados are even turning up in sweet treats, with the fruit being used in desserts such as chocolate mousse as a substitute for dairy. Foodie bloggers such as Hemsley & Hemsely, Deliciously Ella and The Diet Chef, are all fans of avocados. Waitrose said: ‘From Deliciously Ella’s Avocado Chocolate Mouse, to Hemsley & Hemsley’s Avocado Cheesecake, the food bloggers are showing that there’s much more to an avocado than just guacamole.’

Richard Bickerton, Waitrose salad buying manager, commented: “The avocado is definitely having its ‘moment’. Thanks to celebrity cooks like Nigella featuring the fruit, sales of avocados have rocketed. They are a very versatile ingredient, whether they be used for salads, dips or the new trend for putting them in smoothies or even brownies. For me, avocado on toast is the perfect any-time dish. It’s an easy and quick meal you can rustle up for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You never get bored of it.”

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