As we strive to become a healthier nation, Brits’ approach to food is changing. But in what way? We take a look at the latest food trends in the UK with garden bark chippings retailer, Compost Direct.
A new hobby in growing our own
It appears that Brits began to rely more on growing their own after the recession in 2007, which saw the prices of food rise. In 2012, for example, the BBC reported that almost a third of British adults grow their own food. A further 51% said in a survey that they would take to the vegetable patch if food prices were to rise further.
It is thought that growing your own food makes gardening more enjoyable too. One YouGov report found that 77% of gardeners listed eating produce that they have grown in their own gardens as the main benefit of gardening. What’s more, 44% grow enough fruit and vegetable to share with their friends and family, while over 25% said that growing their own food was now their hobby.
A newfound love for organic
Over the past few years, organic produce has become more popular to Brits. Now worth a huge £2.09 billion, the market witnessed 7.1% growth in 2016 alone. In fact, organic food and drink now represents a 1.5% share of the total UK market, according to the 2017 Organic Market Report. On a global scale, the UK’s organic market makes up 4% of the $81 billion worldwide organic sales.
It is thought that we are purchasing more organic produce because of its health benefits and our rising knowledge of these. Overall, 80% of consumers said they had knowledge of organic food, with 39% buying it on a weekly basis.
As well as wanting to be healthier, it is thought that we want to look better too. Driven by our new reliance on social media, as images of toned, healthy bodies litter our news feeds, we’re inspired by self-improvement. Given that organic food is often fresher, containing fewer pesticides and no genetic modifications, it’s the route many people choose as part of living and eating better.
Following this new trend, the foodservice market has experienced a strong growth. Sales of organic food within the UK’s foodservice market rose by 19.1% in 2016 to be worth a staggering £76.6 million.
Restaurants, pubs and cafes have all realised the shift towards organic. In order to continue to capture sales from increasingly health-conscious customers, outlets must change their menus accordingly, driving the growth of organic food. Many well-known restaurants have made the switch to organic, including Jamie’s Italian, McDonalds and Nando’s.
Following this, as outlets change what is on their menus, wholesalers must change their supplies. Between 2015 and 2016, there were almost 25% more licensed organic wholesalers, responding to the growing demand for wholesome food.
The love for organic doesn’t look as though it will slow either. As schools, universities, hospitals and workplaces serving more organic food under the Food For Life Catering Mark, it’s clear that organic is on the rise.
Growing interest in recipe boxes
Amongst our busy schedules, many of us are on the lookout for money and time saving tips — giving rise to the recipe box. Pioneered by the likes of Hello Fresh and Gousto, these boxes contain all of the ingredients you need to cook tasty meals, along with instructions on how to do it.
They have experienced considerable success too. In 2015, the recipe box industry had achieved some £702 million in worldwide sales. By 2025, predictions estimate that this will grow to £3.8 billion as the market goes from strength-to-strength and more companies emerge.
The recipe boxes also prevent the amount of wastage that leaves the house too. In light of research which stated that UK households threw away £13 billion of edible food in 2017, they seem like an ideal solution. According to analytics by Cardlytics, spending on recipe boxes grew by 64.6% in the first half of 2016, with the volume of orders increasing by 47.6%.
Supermarkets are sensing a threat from these boxes. Tesco and Waitrose have both launched a recipe kit range within their stores. With Waitrose vowing to make them a permanent part of their range, Tesco is still in the trial stages.
As our trends have shifted towards organic produce and recipe boxes, it’s clear to see that we’re striving to become a healthier, more environmentally conscious nation.