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Rising UK Living Costs Prompt Shift to Comfort Foods: Waitrose Report

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BNN Correspondents
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Rising UK Living Costs Prompt Shift to Comfort Foods: Waitrose Report

In the face of escalating living costs in the United Kingdom, Britons are significantly altering their eating habits, leaning towards traditional comfort foods as food prices witness the steepest rise since the 1970s. This shift is evident in Waitrose's annual food and drink report, which shows that dishes like shepherd's pie, macaroni cheese, and oven chips are being favoured over more 'exotic' foods.

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Turning away from Exotic Foods

One of the most striking changes is the replacement of the once-popular 'smashed avocado' with the more economical 'peas on toast'. This switch not only reflects a trend towards simplifying meal choices to familiar and comforting recipes but also underscores the UK's self-sufficiency in pea production, making 'smashed peas' an environmentally friendlier alternative.

Increasing Demand for Comfort Foods

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Waitrose has registered a significant surge in the sales of its lowest-priced Essential range french fries and crinkle-cut chips, with increases of 80% and 34% respectively. This is a marked departure from the 2008 financial crisis when people transitioned from dining out to ready meals. The current trend signals a return to traditional British dishes, thereby mitigating the risk of monetary waste.

Health-conscious Trends Persist

Despite these changes, health-conscious trends continue to hold importance. Fermented foods and 'no or low' alcohol beverages have seen sales rise by 14% and nearly a quarter, respectively. While the sale of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives has decelerated, with some declaring the end of the vegan boom due to concerns over ultra-processed foods, Waitrose reports that its sales of vegan products have increased. The interest in more natural plant-based products continues to be on the upswing, indicating that health considerations remain a priority for consumers, despite the economic pressures.

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