Commissioned by Discover the Origin, a campaign that aims to raise awareness of the origin of products, the survey of 3000 British adults found that British consumers are turning to European foods and wines in their search for variety.
The research shows that 58 per cent of people think the variety of British dishes matches that of European dishes.
Almost 80 per cent of survey respondents said they themselves choose to cook with European products at least once a week. In addition, 46 per cent said they like to experiment with foreign produce, while 62 per cent incorporate them into traditional British dishes.
The survey also found that the quality of ingredients is crucial for UK consumers, flagged up by 91 per cent of respondents as important.
For women, the main assurance of quality is knowing where food comes from, with 64 per cent saying that origin matters to them.
“This predilection for origin guaranteed ingredients is now so ingrained in the British psyche that it remains a key purchasing criterion, even during difficult economic times,” said Discover the Origin, which aims to raise awareness of Product of Origins (PDO) labelling systems.
The group, which is backed by the EU, combines five generic bodies:Parma Ham, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Burgundy wines, Port, and Douro Valley wines.
These products – which all have a PDO stamp meaning they can only be produced in the area using authentic techniques – have all seen an increase in sales in the last two years, says Discover the Origin. Parma Ham sales have increased by 31 per cent, Parmigiano-Reggiano by 22 per cent, Burgundy wines by 20 per cent, and Ports and Douro wines by 2 per cent.
“The results are clear: quality, variety and origin of the food we eat and wines we drink is key and that’s why European products with strong origin credentials are so widely incorporated in modern British cooking.”