A new report conducted by grocery retail chain Waitrose reveals how food is now central to British identity and the top trends of the year.
The fourth Waitrose Food & Drink Report, published today, outlines four key trends and is based on millions of purchases in shops and online, with consumer research and insight from Waitrose buyers and experts.
One of the findings in the report is how social media has changed Britons’ relationship with food. One in five Britons has posted a picture of their food on social media or sent it to a friend in the last month, while over two per cent would’ve shared a picture in the last day.
Meanwhile, 71 per cent of Britons viewed healthy eating and looking after ourselves as “just a part of who we are”, according to the report.
In addition, 60 per cent say the food we eat today is naturally lighter and fresher than five years ago, and products including seeds and grains, coconut flour, cactus water and seaweed are all top food trends of the year.
The third key trend in the report looks at how conscious consumption is now a part of everyday life, with 80 per cent of Britons actively consider how and where our food is sourced, while 46 per cent throw away less food and one third uses freezers more.
Sales of class two “wonky” vegetables, organic beauty products and food storage containers are also on the rise, and nearly half of those surveyed shop more frequently for smaller baskets of food to help manage waste.
Finally, the lines between eating out and dining at home were blurring, according to Waitrose’s report, with 40 per cent viewing eating out as less of a treat than it used to be.
This is because cheaper and healthier casual restaurants means people are increasingly choosing to stay in when they want to treat themselves.
In the last year, 40 per cent of those surveyed either attended or hosted a Come Dine With Me-style revolving dinner party, a dinner party where everyone brought a dish, or a themed evening based around a holiday destination or cooking style.
“As a nation we’re expressing ourselves through food as never before,” Waitrose managing director Rob Collins said.
“From healthy eating, to the explosion of food photography on social media, to our desire to entertain others through cooking – food is today’s hottest social currency; through it, we tell others about ourselves.”