Press releases

Revealed: 2014's top food trends

Wednesday 22 October 2014

 
Waitrose report shows what we're eating and drinking this year – based on millions of purchases in shops and online.

The Waitrose Food & Drink Report 2014 draws on a year of Waitrose sales and new consumer research, providing a comprehensive view of British behaviour – supported with insight from the retailer's experts.

Findings include:

  • Our food choices are increasingly influenced by technology and social media – from how we shop and what we cook, to how we communicate about food.  For example this is the first year that Waitrose customer enquiries via social media have overtaken emailed enquiries (p.6)
  • Breakfast tastes are changing, with honey sales overtaking jam for the first time ('Going Up' trends barometer)
  • Our taste buds are changing and we're more familiar with global cuisine than ever before.  We have moved on from old favourites and are now four times as likely to buy a katsu curry kit as we are tikka masala (p.4 and 'Going Up' trends barometer)
  • We're more 'time-poor' than ever.  We shop little and often and in ways that suit us – regularly in convenience shops, grabbing breakfast on the move (sales up 10%) and looking for foodie shortcuts (p.3)
  • Four in 10 of us say weekends are now more of a food event than they were –gathering family and friends and experimenting with cooking.  And programmes like Great British Bake Off are inspiring people to try what they see more than ever before (p.4 and News bites August).

And to drink:

  • White wine drinkers are just starting to develop from the safe-ground of Sauvignon Blanc to new grapes and countries, with varieties such as Austrian Grüner Veltliner leading the way
  • Drink of the year, Aperol, has seen sales soar by 800% over the year at Waitrose, and sales of coffee liqueur by 15% as espresso martinis make their way out of city bars and into home dinner parties.

 

The report – the second annual Waitrose look at what we're eating – also takes a look back at the year's key events and how they shaped our choices.  For example many of us went out in search of a Tunnock's Tea Cake (sales up 62%) after they featured in the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, or tried South American wine (sales up 50%) during the World Cup in Brazil. 

And this was the year when drinkable 'gifts for teacher' really hit home, with sales of Champagne (sales up 26%) and bottle gift bags (sales up 44%) spiking for the end of term in July.

Released today, 22 October, the report uncovers seven key 2014 food trends that have either emerged or fully cemented themselves this year: Time-poor shoppers; Global explorers; Weekend foodies; Flexitarianism; Permanently healthy; Eat it, Tweet it!; and Rustic luxe.

Says Waitrose Managing Director Mark Price:  'As an innovative food retailer we're constantly focused on food and drink trends, so we can create products that continue to be at the cutting edge.

'We have seen that Britain has become a lot thriftier, probably for the better – shoppers have refused to let go of the shopping habits they adopted during the recession.  But, despite this, three things remain constant: Britons' culinary curiosity, their love of good food and their desire to eat healthily.

'We are fast becoming a nation of foodies. Increasing numbers of people have moved from seeing eating as functional to seeing it as an experience to be relished and enjoyed. Today, more than ever before, people see food and cooking as a hobby. All these factors feed into how we eat in 2014.'


Notes to editors:

The Waitrose Food & Drink Report is released on Wednesday 22 October.  All images and graphics are available to use – please contact us for more information or an interview.


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