Waitrose food report shows consumers opting for healthier choices
For many years, in the 80s and 90s and 00s, we kept being told we had to do more. Work more, hustle more, sleep and eat if and when you can, because there's always more work to do.
We might still be working at crazy speeds, but people are trying to adopt a much healthier lifestyle to go along with it. That's according to data from the seventh annual Waitrose Food and Drink report.
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Consumption of vegan and vegetarian options has been steadily growing for years. The Waitrose report shows people often try to simplify their lives by looking to more environmentally-friendly options.
All the trending products from 2019 can be associated with healthier, more ethical lifestyles. Vegan ready meals have outsold their vegetarian counterparts for the first time (55% vs 45%), with celery juice seeing a 30% sales increase (thank Instagram for that one).
Consumption of meat has decreased. Tor Harris, head of corporate social responsibility at Waitrose, noted that: "We’re seeing a more considered approach to meat in general."
A reduction in meat eating is definitely going to have an impact on sales in 2020, as the company predicts more shoppers will opt for ‘seacuterie’ (fish-based version of charcuterie which orginated in Australia) and products with high levels of animal welfare.
Noodles, grains, Middle Eastern ingredients and seaweed are trending, with searches for 'aonori seaweed up 127%, and 'tahini' up a whopping 700% on Waitrose.com.
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In the alcohol department, sales of pink gin and rosé wine have been rising, while craft beer still proves very popular, especially canned beer. Speaking of which, sales of canned alcohol have also increased.
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Money, cleaning products and social cooking
The Waitrose report also shows other interesting stats regarding people's approach to eating and cooking. Mindful spending is on the rise, as 36% of Brits said they were generally being more careful before spending money.
The eco-friendly movement has also affected sales of cleaning products, with eco household products up 17% from 2018, while sales of eco dishwashing products and recycled toilet paper were up 26% and 39% respectively.
Interestingly, 17% of people surveyed also said they now cook for others more now than they did five years ago. One in eight shops for food online at least once a week, and 30% said they are growing some of their own food.
Consumption of spicy food has grown, as the report shows 26% of people are now replacing salt on the table with chilli sauce.
The report surveyed 2,000 people of all ages, not all are exclusively Waitrose customers.