The How Britain Eats survey by Allegra Strategies asked 1,200 UK consumers on their shopping, cooking and eating-out behaviours and found that there is continued importance on Britishness when eating out and at home.
This year’s well-publicised horsemeat scandal is still fresh in consumers’ minds the survey found with many saying they now seek greater transparency when it comes to the provenance of the food they eat.
It found that along with seeking value and quality, consumers also look for quality assurance marks such as the Red Tractor label.
Allegra Strategies director of insights Anya Marco said: “Consumers have more choice than ever before and recognise that when prices are low, quality can be compromised and therefore provenance and transparency are key for both supermarkets and eating out operators”.
British and aspirational
Allegra’s survey results also backed up those in one produced by VisitEngland, which said more domestic tourists were planning trips around food and were more likely to eat in restaurants, pubs and cafes serving food local to the region they were in with British food replacing Italian as the nation’s favourite cuisine.
But while British food is booming, restaurants and other foodservice operators are being advised to cater for developing palates as consumers who travel more will look for more unusual cuisines and products when eating out and in the supermarkets.
Allegra Strategies also found that there was a rise in what it has dubbed the ‘aspirational gourmet’ with the number of consumers portraying a love of cooking rising three per cent on last year’s figure to 28 per cent.
However, despite having a love of food, ‘aspirational gourmets’ tend to eat out less frequently it found.
When looking at consumers’ food spending habits, a third said they were living comfortably and managing their food expenses without significant difficulty whilst nearly half of consumers now state they are coping with increases in food expenditure.