The Changing Nature of UK’s Eating Habits

The Changing Nature of UK’s Eating Habits

7 September 2017

We have previously discussed food trends that are likely to rise or are already popular, for example, veganism, smoothies and, of course, kosher. However, there are also trends that have decreased in popularity over time as well.

Eating habits in the UK have changed over the years, a transformation likely to have been caused by rising concerns about health or sustainability. The UK’s relationship with food has not only changed over the last three generations, but today continues to change ever more so.

So, what are the most significant differences and what is next for the food industry in the UK?

A Nationwide Survey

Published by Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and coming from the National Food Survey set in place in 1940, data from approximately 150,000 households in the UK highlight how eating habits are different now.

This survey has been running since it was first created, meaning that, for more than seven decades, a sample of British households has been filling out their weekly food and drink purchases – and this information can tell us plenty about the nation.

UK’s Eating Habits

With advancements in technology, such as the invention and adoption of fridges and freezers, it is understandable that we are seeing a difference in the consumption of perishables. For instance, this survey finds that a 1974 household in Leicester purchased canned peas and potatoes, and canned milk pudding, while its 2000 equivalent bought frozen peas, chips and cakes.

The consumption of white bread has dropped 75% since 1974 too, while sales of brown and wholemeal bread have increased by 85%. Pizza has been around for a while, although there was only an average purchase of 2g per week in 1975, compared to 53g in 2014. There has also been an astonishing rise of 1000% in takeaway pizzas during the same period.

Food has also become less expensive over the years. In 1974, around 24% of salaries were spent on food, while only 11% of monthly wages are used to stock up the fridge and the freezer today. And, while the UK is renowned for being a nation of tea drinkers, the truth is that consumption of this beverage has declined since 1974 – from 68g to 25g in 2014. This change is due to the rising popularity of other hot beverages, such as coffee, cocoa, and malted drinks.

These are some of the UK’s changing eating habits, although they are certainly not the only ones. And, with new foods and beverages being introduced and popularised on a regular basis, new trends and eating habits continue to appear, change or decrease.

Less Ketchup: A New Eating Habit?

It seems like the staple ketchup might become a product of the past as well. Brits are shying away from the condiment and opting for more ‘exotic’ alternatives instead, like peri peri and sriracha, with sales of Heinz ketchup falling 13.2% in 2016. Supermarket sales of all ketchups are also down by 2.7% (the equivalent of six million bottles). Overall sales of Heinz products also fell by 16% last year, although sales of their Seriously Good Mayonnaise brand rose by 50%.

Eating habits in the UK have changed over the years due to several factor, not least from the lack of storing technology to rising health trends. Kosher certified food and drink being one of these trends, the importance of kosher certification can never be underestimated. Contact KLBD Kosher to learn more about how to get certified and how this can benefit your business.

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