Our dining and eating habits are changing as a nation — but how? Gardening experts and online retailers of compost, Compost Direct are here to give us more insight into Britain’s love affair with food.
Rising interest in the recipe box
As the growth of online shopping and time-saving technology has proven, we’re always on the lookout for some spare minutes in the day. Our busy lives and dependence on technology has given rise to the recipe box. Pioneered by the likes of Hello Fresh and Gousto, these boxes contain all of the ingredients you need to cook tasty meals, along with instructions on how to do it.
The boxes are efficient and convenient and it comes with no surprise that they’ve been successful. In 2015, the recipe box industry has achieved some £702 million in worldwide sales. By 2025, predictions estimate that this will grow to £3.8 billion as the market goes from strength-to-strength and more companies emerge.
Recipe boxes tackle the household waste issue that the nation is facing too. When you consider that UK households threw away £13 billion of edible food in 2017, recipe boxes — which only provide the ingredients you need for each recipe — seem like a good idea. According to analytics by Cardlytics, spending on recipe boxes grew by 64.6% in the first half of 2016, with the volume of orders increasing by 47.6%.
Of course, these boxes are a threat to supermarkets. Tesco and Waitrose have both launched a recipe kit range within their stores. With Waitrose vowing to make them a permanent part of their range, Tesco is still in the trial stages.
Growing produce from scratch
Following the economic turmoil that the UK faced following the 2007 recession, many Brits turned to their own back gardens to grow their own produce. In 2012, for example, the BBC reported that almost a third of British adults grow their own food. A further 51% said in a survey that they would take to the vegetable patch if food prices were to rise further.
YouGov research found that 77% of gardeners chose eating homegrown produce as the main benefit of their gardening. What’s more, 44% grow enough fruit and vegetable to share with their friends and family, while over 25% said that growing their own food was now their hobby.
More people interested in organic
More people are turning to organic produce when shopping and dining out according to recent research. Now worth a huge £2.09 billion, the market witnessed 7.1% growth in 2016 alone. In fact, organic food and drink now represents a 1.5% share of the total UK market, according to the 2017 Organic Market Report. On a global scale, the UK’s organic market makes up 4% of the $81 billion worldwide organic sales.
The nation’s increasing awareness of organic food may be the cause of their rising interest in it. Overall, 80% of consumers said they had knowledge of organic food, with 39% buying it on a weekly basis.
The fitness culture in Britain is also rising, perhaps due to the increased use of social media. As images of toned, healthy bodies litter our news feeds, we’re inspired by self-improvement. Given that organic food is often fresher, containing fewer pesticides and no genetic modifications, it’s the route many people choose as part of living and eating better.
The foodservice market is the area of the industry that has seen the most growth in the wake of a rise in organic sales. Sales of organic food within the UK’s foodservice market rose by 19.1% in 2016 to be worth a staggering £76.6 million.
Pubs, restaurants and other food outlets are adapting their menu accordingly to meet new culinary requirements. Many well-known restaurants have made the switch to organic, including Jamie’s Italian, McDonalds and Nando’s.
Following this, wholesalers must adapt their offering too. Between 2015 and 2016, there were almost 25% more licensed organic wholesalers, responding to the growing demand for wholesome food.
The public sector is on the bandwagon too. With schools, universities, hospitals and workplaces serving more organic food under the Food For Life Catering Mark, it’s clear that organic is on the rise — and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
From Instagram ready bodies to recipe boxes, it’s clear that the food trends in the UK are driven by the nation’s strive to be healthier.