Waitrose Food & Drink report: Cost conscious Brits putting fish heads and ox cheek on the menu

Cost conscious consumers look to tinned meats and fish heads for suppertime, according to the latest Waitrose Food and Drink Report.

Tomorrow’s daily specials menu may include Spam, ox cheek and fish heads; that’s according to the latest Food and Drink Report conducted by Waitrose. As the cost of living crisis continues, the supermarket chain has delved into the new shopping habits of Brits across the country.

The report shows that many consumers are now conscious of how much they spend on their shopping bills, with many now opting for “cheaper” options regarding meat cuts. That includes a rise in sales of beef shin, ox cheek and lamb neck sales. The rise in sales of fish head and tins of Spam have also risen by 34% and 36% respectively, according to the report.

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It’s an indication, Waitrose claim, that many households are more adept at cooking from scratch rather than rely on the tried and tested recipe kits that frequent supermarket shelves. In comparison to the rise in forgotten and tinned meat, sales of curry recipe kits have fallen out of favour with consumers instead opting for Cacio e Pepe, Truffle Salt and Miso Butter.

Other trends the report found were an increase in sweet treats, with 46% of consumers admitting that their sweet tooth has taken hold of them this past year as custard tarts, eclairs and cappuccino mousse are the top three selling desert items at Waitrose. Those looking to eat more cleanly have also increased with sales of Thrive (healthier ready meals), GoVeggie, PlantLiving, EatFlexi (meats with a balance of plant proteins) and Gut Health ranges increasing by 74%

Three quarters of those surveyed by Waitrose have admitted they are now more mindful about what they’re spending on groceries, with over a third saying they shop around for bargains and a quarter (27%) have taken to planning their meals in advance. More than half (51%) of all 18-24 year olds have taken to social media platforms for foodie inspiration this year, explaining the cheaper cuts of meat now becoming popular.

While price is still a big factor in people choosing which product to buy, shoppers want to know the story behind what they’re buying - and if the workers were paid fairly (22%), or the animals were looked after (28%) and global concerns are also influencing buying patterns as over a third (36%) are now ‘extremely concerned’ about climate change.

What were the food trends for 2022-2023 according to Waitrose?

The wrap up of food trends, according to Waitrose’s latest study, include news that:

  • Sales of whipped feta rose by 33% over the summer
  • Root Zero, the world’s first carbon neutral potato has seen strong sales so far
  • Sales of kefir yoghurt are up 51% due to consumers wanting to maintain a healthy gut
  • Sales of tequila have doubled in size (up 116%) from 2020 to 2021
  • Inspired by the spicy rose wine TikTok trend, online searches for jalapeños spiked by 40% in July
  • 30% of consumers have bought no and low alcohol drinks in the last year
  • Yeast sales have fallen by 20%

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