Grocery shoppers are increasingly making use of mobile technology as they plan shopping, evidenced by a surge in search volumes during the second quarter of 2014.

Recipes dominated the top 10 grocery search terms in the period and organic and natural foods was the biggest sub-category term, the BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor showed.

Across all devices, searches for grocery items were up 22% on the same quarter last year.

Search volumes on smartphones outpaced tablets, showing growth of 94% and 28% respectively.

The growth rate of smartphone searches for organic and natural foods rocketed 133% in the quarter, compared with a tablet increase of 21% and all device searches ahead by 23%.

The total search volume growth across all devices was highest for the barbecue and grill category (40%), special and restricted diet foods (37%), Latin American cuisine (35%), meat and poultry (34%) and beer (32%). 

London generated the sharpest rise in smartphone searches reflecting,according to Google retail director Peter Fitzgerald, “the developments grocers have made in the region, for example the increase in delivery options becoming available”.

BRC director-general Helen Dickinson said: “In a change that will give particular cheer to grocery retailers, customers are increasingly turning to their tablet computers and smartphones for culinary guidance.

“Many grocers are integrating their online shopping offer with recipe websites and apps. This means that when customers find a recipe they like, they are a mere one click away from having all the ingredients placed in their online shopping basket.

Grocery retailers with a great online offer are set to benefit as consumers turn to looking online for the best prices for the food they buy.”