Tuesday, 21 October 2014

British Food & Drink reign supreme

British Food & Drink reign supreme

(two of my favourite subjects!)

The latest dining out survey shows that British Food is still then nation’s favourite. The result came from a survey by Travelzoo conducted last month.  While British diners like to think they are adventurous when choosing a dining out destination, the fact remains that there is still genuine affection for British Food.

Bangers and Mash

Olde English Bangers & Mash

with crispy onions & red wine gravy

courtesy of 3663 
Here are the Top 10 cuisines 
as found in the UK Travelzoo Survey, 
published this Autumn.
  1. British
  2. Indian
  3.  Italian
  4.  Chineses
  5. Gastro Pub
  6. Thai
  7. American
  8. Mexican
  9. French
  10. Sushi /Japanese 
Of the British dishes, Fish and Chips is joint first with the traditional Roast Beef, with Bangers and Mash, Cornish Pastie and Meat Pie close seconds.  

Pork is also increasing in popularity, perhaps as it is such great value for money, but lamb has been pretty absent from restaurant menu for four years now, perhaps due to costs?

In the survey, over two thirds of respondents to the survey said they tend to choose a favourite local dining out destination most of the time.  The majority of diners tended to travel less than twenty minutes  to their target restaurant, although in London they usually travel much longer. Younger diners tended to eat out more often than senior citizens.

In the drinks market, beer sales continue to fall while wines, and especially sparkling wines, are growing. They are showing a 20% growth in the lst quarter, largely due to the hot dry summer.  Despite the so called recession, Champagne sales are up 9%. The Wine and Spirits Trade Association says this is due to the alcohol duty freeze in the last budget (when the Chancellor chose to freeze the duty on spirits and cut beer duty).

In 2013, ciders outperformed the beer market and wines and spirits too, with a 4% increase in ‘on trade’ sales.  Premium ciders are now accounting for a third of all sales, well up from 20% the previous year. Fruit ciders show a massive growth accounting for 47% of packaged  product, although apple-products still accounts for 97% of the market.  Specialist or craft ciders are also showing a surge in popularity, accounting for 18% increase, a 28% surge in value.

Alcoholic Ginger Beers too have had a surge in popularity. Flavouring food with ginger beer began around 50BC in India, but was first brewed in Yorkshire in the 1800s. It became very popular all over the English speaking world in the early 1900s in the mid 20th century was common drank mixed with lemonade.

A small Scottish company John Crabbie’s of Edinburgh has been producing alcoholic ginger beer since the early 19th Century, but it was bought out by the Glenmorangie Distillery. When the brand was sold to Halewood  International  in 2007 and they have promoted and marketed Crabbie's very keenly ever since. Crabbie’s now sponsor the Grand National festival.

The latest trend is SPIDERS, which are spirit based ciders. They are still a new phenomenon but there has been quite a buzz about them among younger drinkers. 

The big buzz spider of the summer has been amaretto favoured cider, Alcoholic cider is frequently lauded for its crisp taste, but Orwell’s new amaretto - flavoured cider tops that. The new drink is  described as offering a “refreshing blend of amaretto notes and a fruity hint of cherry paired with a crispy cider apple background.”  I can't disagree with that, it is very pleasant if slightly unusual. Many lady drinkers have made Disaronno (an ameretto flavoured liqueur) very popular as an after dinner drink, taken neat or in coffee,  for the last five years or so. Disaronno has been produced for almost 500 years,  and is "a liqueur of apricot kernel with the pure essence of seventeen herbs and fruits" Orwell's is sold in single-serving 330ml glass bottles and certainly represents a very new flavour innovation in flavoured alcoholic beverages, quite unlike anything else in its category  It is 5.5% ABV and went on sale in June in 330mL bottles.

Younger drinkers do tend to be prepared to experiment and will often have up to ten drinks in their 'try often' category, whereas the older generations are more conservative but still will regularly try up to six categories of drink. That’s a huge difference from the tastes of their parents, who a few years ago would remain loyal to just one or two favourite drinks.

(Some damage may have been done to a few brain cells and my belt in researching these products)

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