I can count on one hand the amount of white bread I have purchased this year. I rarely venture down the bread isle unless it’s for a special occasion or meal – there is far too much temptation! Pizza on the other hand, whether in the form of take away, oven, dough made from scratch or a cauliflower base – our house can’t get enough of the stuff. But I know when my mum shopped in the 70’s it was quite the reverse, she would have regularly purchased a hearty bloomer and pizza was only consumed on the odd occasion at the local Islington Pizza Hut.
A recent survey by Defra looked at the extent to which food tastes have changed over the generations. 75g is the average amount of pizza UK adults now eat compared with none in 1974 – I would not like to live in a world without pizza! The data looks at the shopping baskets in the 2000s compared to in the 1970s and it has got me thinking about the items I regularly pop into my basket without thought each week.
Pizza isn’t the only Italian cuisine Britain has welcomed with open arms, pasta has rocketed to the top of the charts and has become a popular go-to dinner for most households. Convenience is key, we are increasingly busy so it is unsurprising to me that many of the foods that have increased in popularity are convince foods, it is a reflection of the times.
The survey threw up many fascinating stats, on average Britons are now drinking just eight cups of tea a week, down from 23 cups in 1974! More is now spent on coffee and other hot beverage options. I’m sure you would have noticed the Green Tea hype over the last few years and with plenty of other the trendy new hot drinks offering a whole host of ‘healthy’ benefits our old builders brew has had some stiff competition over the years!
There is no doubt that the health movement of the last decade has affected the way we shop, the stats saw shifts towards low calorie soft drinks, whole milk to skimmed and the consumption of more fresh fruit.
But it’s not all good news, maybe we are purchasing more fruit just to balance out the sins of last night’s takeaway? Stats revealed the consumption of takeaway food had almost doubled since 1974! Takeaways don’t register with my mum as a dinner option, she would rather go out her way to cook a quick healthy meal than in her words ‘waste money on unhealthy food’ – it is how she has grown up. However, it is now unfortunately common place in my generation to see takeaway food as a quick solution, when you return from work late or when the hangover is just too much!
It is no doubt that attitudes towards food and purchasing have changed over the generations, with the introduction of the internet for the first time worldwide cuisine is now available with one click of a button. It’s sad to wave goodbye to British classics like Spam and Faggots but I know I would always pick up a packet of low fat Quorn mince instead. If current health driven food and drink pr trends are to continue making an impact, I can’t imagine what the shopping baskets of the future will look like!
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