Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and consumers' growing preference to cook meals from scratch have helped push sales of fresh herbs up by 50% in the last five years.

Fresh herbs boom reflects home cooking trend

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and consumers’ growing preference to cook meals from scratch have helped push sales of fresh herbs up by 50% in the last five years.

Fresh herbs boom reflects home cooking trend

So concludes Mintel, whose new report, Seasonings, puts fresh herbs’ value at £46m. Forty-two per cent of Brits have recently bought fresh herbs and 29% believe it is worth paying more for them, says the report. One in five are growing their own herbs at home – an activity which Jamie Oliver has heavily promoted in his new Jamie at Home television series.

“As a nation we’re becoming more aware of the origins and content of our food,” commented senior analyst at Mintel, Katy Child. “We’re particularly concerned about the pitfalls of hidden ingredients, which have led to the growing popularity in cooking from scratch and using fresh ingredients like herbs.

“There is no doubt that the market has also benefited from celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver championing the benefits of buying British and even growing your own produce,” she said.

Although sales of dried herbs are higher than fresh, at £73m, their growth has been far slower over the last five years, at just 14%.

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