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    ‘Comfort food, low-no alcohol drinks, canned cocktails ruled 2023’

    istock

    Cost of living crisis has spurred a flight to comfort food with more consumers choosing traditional meals over more exotic dishes, a recent report has stated, looking back on what people have been eating and drinking over the last 12 months and the trends from the last ten years.

    According to supermarket Waitrose’s latest annual Food and Drink Report, the main trends of 2023 were familiar and comfort foods, high protein and gut-friendly foods, low and no alcohol drinks, and canned cocktails.

    A third of people surveyed by Waitrose said they were now regularly eating classic dishes such as shepherd’s pie and macaroni cheese. Sales of potato side dishes were also up 19 per cent, with triple-cooked chips and potato dauphinoise the most sought-after. And budget-conscious Waitrose shoppers also turned to more everyday frozen potato sides, driving sales of its Essential French Fries up 80 per cent and Crinkle Cut Chips up 34 per cent.

    Essential pork sausage sales were up by 34 per cent. Overall, a third of those surveyed said they ‘look for foods which are high in protein’. One in eight (12 per cent) told us they have changed their diet over the past year to eat more protein.

    High-protein drink and yogurts sales rose by 39 per cent, as did organic feta (+20 per cent). Other items that caught Brits’ attention this year was cottage cheese. In snacks, savoury rules over sweet – the most popular snack is crisps (29 per cent), followed by cakes and biscuits (22 per cent) and chocolate (19 per cent).

    Sales of no- or low-alcohol beer, cider, wines and spirits are up 23 per cent.

    “One in 20 survey respondents (5 per cent) told us they had their first non-alcoholic drink this year and nearly
    half of UK adults (47 per cent) are switching between alcohol and low- and alcohol-free drinks on the same occasion to moderate their drinking,” stated the report.

    James Bailey, Executive Director of Waitrose, said, “This year, food inflation has changed not only how people shop, but also how they cook and eat. Price-conscious customers have been searching for the best value; switching more to own-label, buying bigger pack sizes and looking to our promotions to cushion their bills.

    “They’ve been simplifying their meal choices and becoming a little less adventurous, choosing familiar foods and recipes they find comforting.”

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