Under the Microscope: The perfect Christmas dinner – according to search

17 Dec 2021

Under the Microscope

Christina Attrah

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and everywhere we go – or at the very least, the supermarket – there are reminders that we need to be prepared for that all-important day, and that all-important meal.

But when it comes to the best meal of the year (and it’s difficult to argue it isn’t) we wanted to find out which chefs and supermarkets are winning on Google. We wanted to see who comes out on top when it comes to that festive turkey recipe or the chef that can actually make sprouts taste nice.

That’s why our data and digital PR agency team decided to crunch the numbers and discover exactly which celebrity chef sits at the top of the nation’s tree, and more importantly at the head of the table…

The perfect Christmas recipe: Christmas dinner by search volume

Using Ahrefs (a great tool for an SEO agency), we took the 13 most common items found on a Christmas dinner plate (alongside some vegan options), as well as four dessert items to uncover the celebrity chef recipes and supermarkets that were searched most for alongside them. 

Based on average search volume per month, we then pulled together the perfect Christmas dinner plate, so if you’re looking for a few recipes to keep that turkey moist or find the ideal crisp in a roasty, then look no further.

Jamie the jewel in the Christmas turkey crown

Christmas dinner is always an all-star plate of food, but when you’ve got influences from Gordon Ramsey, Tom Kerridge, James Martin and Mary Berry, you know you’re delivering your family something pretty special.

However, it’s cheeky chappy Jamie Oliver that most of us look to when it comes to delivering a “pukka” plate of food at Christmas, with his recipes the most searched for across eight of the 13 main Christmas dinner items, including the all important turkey.

And when it comes to a vegan Christmas dinner, Jamie Oliver is also proving to be the most popular. He is the most searched celebrity chef for a nut roast as well five of the other nine items that would appear on a vegan plate.

Proof is in the Pudding: Mary Berry leads Christmas dessert searches

Mary Berry is famed for both her baking and her Christmas specials, so it’s no surprise to see the former Bake Off judge leading the way when it comes to our Crimbo puds. There will be no soggy bottoms at the table this year, with Mary topping the searches across all four of our traditional festive desserts. She’s probably feeling Berry good about that, #sorrynotsorry. 

Uncovering the most searched for recipes for mince pies, Christmas pudding, yule log and panettone, the likes of Nigella, Delia and Jamie Oliver all appeared in the top five, while Paul Hollywood also featured a number of times, unable to claim star baker from his former colleague, however.

A near supermarket sweep for M&S at Christmas

It’s not going to be just any Christmas this year for many up and down the country, it’s going to be an M&S Christmas. Yes, Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross will be playing loud and proud as we pop our Marks and Sparks turkey, spuds and cauliflower cheese into the oven with the supermarket the most searched for across seven of the 18 items across dinner and dessert.

However, Marks & Spencer is joined by Aldi when it comes to dessert, sharing the crown as the most searched supermarkets for the main Christmas desserts: mince pies, Christmas pudding, yule log and panettone.

Aldi and Tesco are joint second when it comes to most popular supermarkets this Christmas, with Aldi’s pigs in blankets, carrots, cranberry sauce, and mince pies making the perfect supermarket Christmas dinner plate, based on monthly search volumes.

Whereas, for Tesco, every little helps when it comes to sprouts, nut roast, peas, and yule log, all the most searched for among the supermarkets. Tesco and Marks & Spencer are joint top for the most searched supermarket for roast potatoes.  

Ding ding: Supermarket ready-made v following a chef’s recipe?

When it comes to searches for chefs’ recipes v supermarket items, it seems people are more interested in trying out recipes. For instance, there were more searches for Jamie Oliver’s roast potatoes than there were for the top five searched supermarkets for that item combined. 

The search term: “Jamie Oliver roast potatoes” enjoys a monthly search volume of 9,300, and the top five supermarkets searched for with “roast potatoes” gave a combined monthly search volume total of 1,500. Whether that suggests we’re keener to make them from scratch, or whether we have no real interest in searching for supermarket spuds and will pick them up from wherever, the jury is out.

When totting up all the monthly search volume figures for all the top five celebrity chefs’ famous Christmas dinner and dessert recipes, against all the figures for the top five supermarkets for all the same items, the chefs’ recipes came out with the highest search volume figure with 53,090 compared to 35,840 for the supermarket top fives, suggesting people really will be going all out this Christmas, and here at TAL Agency, we can’t wait to tuck in…

Christmas Dinner Items and the Top 5 Chefs and Supermarkets by Monthly Search Volumes

Roast potatoes
Jamie OliverM&SJames MartinTescoNigellaIcelandMary BerrySainsbury’sGordon RamsayAsda
Pigs in blanketsJamie OliverAldiMary BerryTescoGordon RamsayM&SHestonSainsbury’sMartha StewartIceland
Cauliflower cheeseMary BerryM&SJamie OliverAldiJames MartinIcelandHairy BikersTescoNigellaSainsbury’s
StuffingJamie OliverM&SMary BerryTescoGordon RamsayAldiTom KerridgeAsdaHairy BikersMorrisons
Roast parsnipsJamie OliverIcelandMary BerryTescoDeliaM&SJames MartinAsdaGordon RamsayWaitrose
SproutsJamie OliverTescoMary BerryAldiGordon RamsaySainsbury’sNigellaAsdaJames MartinMorrisons
Christmas turkeyJamie OliverM&SGordon RamsayTescoDeliaAsdaPhil VickerySainsbury’sNigellaIceland
Nut roastJamie OliverTescoMary BerryM&SHairy BikersMorrisonsDeliaAsdaNadiya HussainSainsbury’s
Yorkshire puddingsJames MartinAsdaMary BerryAldiJamie OliverSainsbury’sTom KerridgeIcelandHairy BikersMorrisons
PeasGordon RamsayTescoJames MartinAldiJamie OliverIceland NigellaSainsbury’sHairy BikersMorrisons
CarrotsTom KerridgeAldiJamie OliverTescoJames MartinLidlGordon Ramsay AsdaDeliaSainsbury’s
Christmas red cabbageJamie OliverM&SNigellaSainsbury’sMary BerryAldiDeliaMorrisonsHairy BikersLidl
Cranberry sauceMary BerryAldiDeliaAsdaNigellaSainsbury’sJamie OliverTescoGordon RamsayLidl
GravyJamie OliverIkeaMary BerryAldiJames Martin Sainsbury’sDeliaAsdaHairy BikersJohn Lewis
Mince piesMary BerryAldiPaul HollywoodTescoJamie OliverMorrisonsNigellaWaitroseHestonM&S
Christmas puddingMary BerryM&SDeliaAldiNigellaWaitroseHestonAsdaJamie OliverTesco
Yule logMary BerryTescoNigellaSainsbury’sDeliaWaitroseJamie OliverAsdaPaul HollywoodM&S
PanettoneMary BerryM&SJamie OliverSainsbury’s Gino D’AcampoWaitrosePaul HollywoodLidlNigellaAldi

Data obtained from Ahrefs in December 2021. Ahrefs analyses the average monthly search volume from the past 12 months.

For help with any number-crunching for your brands or for any digital marketing magic, get in touch with our team today. From PPC and Paid Social to Content Marketing and Remarketing, our experts are ready to get stuck in to improve your business.

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