Survey finds changes in UK food preferences

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22nd March 2016 10:37 - Food

The results of a recent food market research study has revealed that the UK’s diets and food culture has been swiftly changing since 1974 and 2014.

The figures revealed that the adoption of technology (i.e microwaves and freezers) has been instrumental in changing the foods which British households are buying and consuming.

In the periods between 1974 and 2000, the amount of people who owned a freezer increased from 15 per cent, to 94 per cent.

When the survey first began asking households whether they own a microwave, in 1989, to 2000, the quantity of ready meals bought have more than doubled.

The changes in technology have prompted us to consume more convenience foods, such as frozen pizza and pasta, of which, sales have sharply spiked.

According to the results over time, skimmed and semi-skimmed milk have gradually become the UK’s favourite, surpassing full-fat milk in the 1990s. Brits now consume four times as much semi-skimmed and skimmed milk.

Between 1974 and 2014, takeaway pizzas increased by 1000%. As well as this, pasta has doubled since 1998, when it was initially added to the survey.Survey finds changes in UK food preferences

However, some foods which have been considered typically British saw a decrease. According to the survey, the fish which usually accompanies chips is changing. This has been attributed to our growing interest in shellfish. As well as this, tea is also on the decline and so has baked beans.

Liz Truss, who is Environment Secretary, said of the market research findings:

"Food is the heart and soul of our society and this data not only shows what we were eating 40 years ago, but how a change in culture has led to a food revolution. Shoppers are more plugged into where their food comes from than ever before, the internet has brought quality produce to our doorsteps at the click of a button, pop-up restaurants are showcasing the latest trends and exciting global cuisines are now as common as fish and chips."

"By opening up this data we can look beyond what, where or how previous generations were eating and pinpoint the moments that changed our habits for good. We've only scraped the surface of what the National Food Survey can tell us and from local food maps and school projects to predicting new food trends, I look forward to seeing how this data can be used to learn more about our past and grow our world-leading food and farming industry in the future."

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