It’s the Delia effect - again

WHATEVER the queen of TV cookery creates in the kitchen, the people of Britain want to try it out at home.

And once again the Delia Smith effect has struck the nation.

For just weeks after rhubarb became one of the hottest products on supermarket shelves following Delia’s Waitrose advert for rhubarb and ginger br�l�e, the celebrity cook’s seafood risotto has caused sales of frozen fruits de mer to surge by 716%.

Waitrose also sold two-and-a-half years’ worth of Perard soupe de poissons in the first few days after the supermarket’s advert showing Delia making the risotto first aired on Thursday, April 22.

The adverts are part of a promotional campaign for Waitrose in which Delia and Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal act as food ambassadors for the supermarket.


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When Delia, who lives near Stowmarket, promoted her br�l�e recipe in the first of the series of adverts, in just four days Waitrose sold as much rhubarb as it normally sells in 14 weeks.

British rhubarb growers were unable to meet the spike in demand, and Waitrose was forced to import rhubarb from Germany.

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Other ingredients for the br�l�e also saw a huge increase in sales in the days following the advert’s first screening compared to the same time last year, with sales of Chinese stem ginger going up by 3,100%, organic ginger powder up by 3,500%, Total Greek yoghurt up by 1,800% and Jersey extra thick double cream up by 1,000%.

Delia, who with her husband Michael Wynn Jones, is Norwich City Football Club’s joint majority shareholder, previously said: “All I have ever wanted to do is to try to get people to cook, to teach them how. It’s in my blood.

“That desire hasn’t diminished over the years so when Waitrose approached me and asked me to teach people some recipes I jumped at the chance.”

Rupert Thomas, director of marketing at Waitrose, said: “The Delia effect has been very successful in getting our shoppers into the kitchen – experimenting with and enjoying excellent food.

“Our customers’ response to Delia’s recipes has been absolutely fantastic, far exceeding our expectations.”

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