Waitrose reveals the hottest food and drink trends

Waitrose & Partners has released today (Wednesday November 6) its Food and Drink Report 2019-20.

Research for this seventh annual Report, which was carried out throughout 2019, is based on OnePoll consumer research of 2000 people across Britain (not just Waitrose shoppers) and supported by focus group research.

The supermarket chain’s  managing director Rob Collins said: “Our findings point to a move away from materialism and towards a rise in compassion and simplicity in British lifestyles. It seems that as the world beyond our front doors becomes increasingly complicated, people are doubling down on the things that really matter. Households are decluttering to focus on the values – and people – that mean the most to them.”

Here are the report’s key findings (with comments from Waitrose):

  • ‘Mindful spending is on the up, with 50% now buying less than one hot drink out per week. Nearly half are buying fewer lunches out and 36% say they are they considering more carefully in general whether we need to buy something before spending the money. Instead, they’re looking for ‘controlled discovery’; exploring new tastes and cuisines without a big financial commitment.’
  • ‘Online and physical shopping are closer than ever, with a third (and half of under-35s) ‘dual shopping’ – looking up prices, recipes or product information while in a supermarket. Half of visits to Waitrose.com are via a mobile device, up 9% on last year.’
  • ‘It’s cool to be kind: 17% say they cook for others more now than they did five years ago – whether baking for a charity event or fete, making food to help friends or family, or taking cake to work for colleagues.’
  • ‘This is the year that celery juice became a social media star, posh crumpets graced the tables in top restaurants, and searches for ‘tahini’ on Waitrose.com rose by 700%. Other food trends for the year include noodles, grains, seaweed, eco cleaning products and everything on a skewer.’
  • ‘We’re a nation of crisp lovers, and our favourite flavour – for all except people in the south-east, west Midlands and Wales – is cheese and onion. A third admits to eating crisps in the theatre or cinema, although 31% get annoyed by the sound of crisp crunching in public.’
  • ‘Two-thirds of people have cleared out or decluttered in recent months and a third have focused on organising our kitchen cupboards. Drivers for this include a desire to scale back packaging, with 9% now taking their own refillable containers to the supermarket for loose produce or deli items.’
  • ‘Brits are moving towards a simpler existence and focusing on the fundamentals, and 38% say they’ve become less materialistic over the last decade. More than 60% now say sharing memorable experiences with loved ones is the most important thing, with 47% creating more time for hobbies and 30% growing some of our own food.’
  • ‘The rise of craft beers mean it’s now cool to drink out of a can. Brits are also making DIY flavoured spirits, exploring new and unusual grape varieties such as Furmint, and trying out refillable beer and wine bottles.’
  • ‘Brits are spicing things up, with a fifth eating more spicy food than five years, and 26% of people replacing putting salt on the table with chilli sauce or flakes.’
  • ‘With a third of Brits eating less meat than two years ago, more than a quarter say they plan to look for better quality meat or fish when they do buy it. Views of the farming pages on Waitrose.com are also up by 37% – pointing to a continued and long-term rise in interest in animal welfare. Other food fashions to look out for in 2020 include ‘Seacuterie’ and Middle Eastern cooking at home.’

Click here to read the Waitrose & Partners Food and Drink Report 2019-20

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