Press releases

2017: the consumer takes control

Wednesday 1 November 2017

New report reveals top food, drink and shopping trends

The Waitrose Food & Drink Report 2017-18 shows today's consumer is firmly in the driving seat. Whether shopping or eating, we do what we want, when we want.

Three quarters of Brits say dining out alone is more socially acceptable than it was five years ago, with a third eating out alone in the last month. When it comes to diet a common-sense approach now rules; strict plans or cutting entire food groups has fallen out of favour and carbs are well and truly back on the menu.

Released today (1 November) the fifth annual report is based on a year's worth of Waitrose sales, with comprehensive new consumer research and insight from its food and retail experts.

Says Managing Director Rob Collins: 'Today's shoppers exercise unprecedented control over when they shop, what they buy and how they consume it.

'Our research found people have become more flexible in their shopping patterns, more price-savvy and more single-minded than ever before. For example a staggering 65% of Britons visit a supermarket more than once a day on a regular or occasional basis. Over half of us don't decide what we're having for dinner until lunchtime; one in 10 of us will decide just before we eat. The consumer is in charge of their domain.'

Highlights include

  • Could we see the end of the big supermarket trolley? Waitrose has seen a move to small, shallow trolleys, as many move away from doing one big weekly shop. With supermarket shopping habits continuing to shift in this way, could we see an end to the supersize trolley in years to come? (more predictions on p.8 – trends for 2018 and beyond)
  • Going up – what was in favour in 2017. This is the year that turmeric became the best-selling Waitrose spice, that blueberries finally knocked strawberries off the top berry slot, and more us of discovered a liking for brunch. (Other trends p.2 – barometer)
  • Dining solo. Three quarters of us say eating out alone is more acceptable than it was – with top reasons cited as changes in society and restaurants being more single-person friendly. More than a fifth of Brits say their smart phone provides the company – rising to 34% of 18-24 year olds. (p.4 –dining solo)
  • How the nation drinks. Which region drinks the most bag-in-a-box wine, where in the country are you most likely to be served a local beer, and who is most likely to enjoy a port or sherry? (Drinks map of Britain, p.7)
  • Pie charts. Which filling is Britain's favourite, with which sauce and what on the side? A definitive guide to Britain's love of pies and regional preferences (p.8 – pie charts).

Notes to editors

The Waitrose Food & Drink Report 2017-18 is released on Wednesday 1 November.

Research for the Report has been carried out throughout 2017. Focus group research and OnePoll consumer research supports Waitrose own retail and sales data.

Please contact us for high resolution images, more information or interviews.


Enquiries

For further information please contact:

Waitrose Communications team,
Telephone: 01344 825 080