THE Waitrose & Partners Food & Drink Report 2018-19 shows how mindfulness of our wellbeing and environment are having a huge influence on the way people in the UK shop and eat today.
Released on November 1, the sixth annual report is based on comprehensive new OnePoll consumer research of people across Britain – not just Waitrose shoppers. Supported by focus group research, and insight from millions of purchases in Waitrose & Partners shops and online, and from the retailer’s food and shopping experts.
Says Managing Director Rob Collins: “Being mindful of how we live and eat has become a priority in today’s world. As we become increasingly mindful of our own health, the wellbeing of our family and that of the planet, we’re reshaping how we shop, cook and eat. Welcome to the era of the mindful consumer.”
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- A third of the population (33.5%) now have meat-free or meat-reduced diets. This includes one in eight Brits (13%) now identifying as vegan or vegetarian, and a further 21% as flexitarian. But attitudes are also changing with an increasingly pragmatic approach and many dipping in and out. Half of all those who say they are vegan or vegetarian eat meat ‘at weekends’, ‘occasionally’ or ‘on special occasions’.
- Nearly nine in 10 people (88%) who saw that episode of BBC’s Blue Planet II about the effect of plastics on our oceans have changed their behaviour since. Sixty percent of us now choose a refillable water bottle and coffee cup more than we did, and Waitrose has seen an 800% increase in questions about plastics from customers.
- Going up – what was in favour in 2018. This is the year that aquafaba – the water from tins of chickpeas – made its way in to everything from meringues to cocktails as an alternative to egg white. That sales of apple cider vinegar soared as people started drinking it, and that modern Mexican cuisine took off – the taco is the new sandwich.
- Avoiding the ‘food hangover’. A faster pace of life is prompting a shift in our behaviour towards life and food. Nearly 70% of us feel the pressures of modern life have increased in the last five years. Close to half work longer hours and four in 10 regularly check work emails in personal time. We’re coping by consciously moving towards lighter, healthier food in the evening, staying hydrated and taking care of ourselves the best we can. In addition, six in 10 of us are getting up earlier than we used to, to exercise, create some ‘me time’ or get things done.
- The Great British Roast Review. Eating lighter midweek meals is all well and good – but when it comes to the weekend the Sunday roast still tops the menu.
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