‘Mary factor’ fuels some of the top foodie trends of 2016

Sales of some of the latest trendy food and drink products of 2016 have shot up after being featured on TV show ‘What Britain Buys’ hosted by retail expert Mary Portas.

The Channel 4 documentary, which aired on Monday, May 9, looked at how Brits shop and what they buy.

In the week since the show was transmitted, supermarket chain Waitrose has seen some of the top 2016 health foods mentioned in the programme boosted even further in popularity. 

Quinoa sales have shoot up in the past year and after appearing on the show, sales of the Waitrose salad range which contains this fashionable grain, have increased by 327%.

Chia seeds have also enjoyed a huge uplift after being discussed on the show. Mary Portas said: “The must-have superfood in the morning smoothies of Miranda Kerr and Gwyneth Paltrow, chia is the fastest growing UK food trend you may have never heard of.” After blogger and cookery writer Madeleine Shaw was interviewed on the show about chia, Waitrose Chia Seeds have seen a huge uplift in sales of 180% compared with the week before the documentary was broadcast.

Birch water, tipped to be the new coconut water, was one of the most unusual products to be featured. Launched in Waitrose earlier this year, the ‘Mary effect’ has led to sales of Sibberi Birch Water rising a further 24%.

Waitrose senior nutritionist Joanne Lunn said: “It’s great to see that shoppers are keen to try out these new health foods – healthy, varied diets are more likely to provide the right balance of the nutrients that our bodies need to stay healthy. And it seems the Mary effect has had a healthy impact on what customers are putting in their baskets.”

There has also been a rise in shoppers seeking out craft beer. The burgeoning urban craft beer scene was explored on the show, sparking a 64% increase in craft beer sales at Waitrose.

Mary also discovered sales of bowls had increased in the UK in 2016. According to the show, “a plate is no longer the crockery of choice” and bowls are considered to create the ultimate aesthetic when following the trend for photographing your food. They have also risen in popularity due to their ‘less spill appeal’ for a sofa supper. Sales of plain white bowls at Waitrose are up 24% in the past week.

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