Posts Tagged ‘food’
People are always interested in how consumer behaviour changes, particularly after big events like a recession. New research from Kantar Media now show that, compared with five years ago, consumers these days are miserable, minging slobs, or “unhappier, unhealthier and less concerned by their appearance” as they put it.
Since 2008’s downturn, consumers’ health, appearance and happiness have all taken a “significant knock” according to Kantar, leading to “profound behavioural changes” in the relationship between consumers and food.
Kantar claims that the dark days of the recession led consumers into finding comfort and reward in more indulgent and less healthy foods, with the proportion of adults who said their diet was very healthy falling from 41% in 2009 to 36% today. Today’s consumers are also ”less fussy” about their appearance, with only 54% claiming to look after the way they look, down from 62% in 2009. In some areas, we reckon the percentage is even less…
But even if you are still clinging on to your health and your looks, chances are you aren’t happy. Today, only 49% of adults are “happy with their standard of living” down from 58% in 2009. Similarly, the proportion of adults who say they are happy with their life as it is has fallen from 63% in 2009 to 57% today.
The problem, according to Kantar, is that we are now associating junkier food and takeaways with happiness- after all, the recession meant that going out for a meal was often replaced by a cheeky takeaway. Little pleasures. But this isn’t just bad news for our waistlines and looks, producers of healthier and organic foods are also down in the dumps.
“The consequence of this declining happiness amongst British consumers and its link to healthy eating is that interest in the likes of organic and fair trade food will be unlikely to pick up again until the economic recovery not only improves consumers’ quality of life, but also ultimately delivers higher levels of happiness,” said Anne Benoist, director, Kantar Media TGI.
“The fast food industry has, to a certain extent, repositioned itself during the downturn so that it is no longer so synonymous with junk food…This has helped consumers feel less guilty about what they eat. The healthy food industry needs to undertake a similar re-positioning so that eating healthily is no longer equated with unhappiness in consumers’ minds.”
So we may now be glum, gelatinous and grotty as consumers, but it could be worse. We could be eating healthy food and be even more miserable…
*assuming you weren’t one already.
Yes indeed, Nutella are doing special personalised pots of its spread in branches of Selfridges this year. The £3.99 for a 400g jar will seem meaningless once the object of your affection’s eyes light up upon unwrapping their own personal jar of brown gloop.
It’s not available online, but you can call 0800 123 400 and order there and collect in your nearest store.
This idea worked a charm for Coca-Cola. By simply putting human names on a product, you’ll find that everyone on the internet can’t wait to show something with the same name as them, thereby, doing a lot of free promotion for you.
Obviously this – as anything offering a personalised service – can be corrupted by miscreants and all manner of words can be put on the jars, not that we’re advising you get a jar and personalise it with something like “compacted faeces” or something like that.
But it’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid (well, unless you have a nut allergy, and then you’re a bit doomed). Quite literally SPREAD the love. [you're fired - Ed.]
All 870 of the chicken-based restaurant chain’s interiors are set to be revamped from March 2015, which they reckon represents “the future of interior design for KFC”.
To get an idea of what’s to come, the chain have launched the new spruce-up at their Bracknell branch, with Exeter and Reading next on their list.
Although they’ll have to pull their finger out, to get it nationwide before their self-imposed deadline.
Gone are the easily-copied-by-Chicken-Cottage fittings of old, and now it’s all exposed ceilings and textured brick effect walls, accessorised with illustrations of, well, mainly chicken, from commissioned artists
Jane Sawby of KFC’s in house interior design cabal, reckons the design was inspired by “families and friends coming together around the kitchen table to share freshly made food” adding, “KFC was designed with sharing in mind”.
You’ll also be able to see your food being prepared in a “semi open-plan kitchen” get-up.
Swaby continues: “The sense of the kitchen being the heart of the home really influenced the authentic, inviting design. You can feel the openness and warmth from the moment you step through the door and we hope that customers feel at home in the new restaurant.”
There’s just too much speak there, so we’ll leave that with you to digest what they’re banging on about. Basically, it sounds like they’ve noticed how well Nando’s and Bar Burrito are doing.
This follows Just Eat’s float on the London Stock Exchange earlier this year. Back in August, they announced a 35% increase in users and over 4400 new restaurants signed up into their takeaway harem.
Orders in general were up by 56% up until September, which is better than last year when we had that heatwave and nobody wanted any food at all. That, and what spare cash anybody had was used on pesky things like rent.
David Buttress, Just Eat CEO, is understandably very pleased about all this, saying: “I am very pleased with our performance over the summer, a period when even more consumers have enjoyed the benefits of our online marketplace for takeaway food, particularly via their mobile devices,”
“At a strategic level, our commitment to developing market leadership in all of our territories was further reinforced by Just Eat acquiring control of Alloresto.fr in France, and creating a market-winning JV in Brazil with iFood. We are in an excellent position as we enter the important winter period and remain confident for the full year.”
That’s all super then. Let’s just stop moving our limbs altogether and welcome our feeder overlords.
Halal Test, which launched in France this week by French start-up Capital Biotech, uses immunochromatography, which is the same technology used for pregnancy tests, to detect traces of pork in food, cosmetics and medicines.
The portable test, which costs €6.90 each or €125 for a pack of 25, had already attracted considerable interest from several companies in the UK and further afield.
Halal Test is currently available only in France through traditional retail channels or online, but the makers of the kits reckon the UK is a very interesting market to develop further.
The test is packaged with a small tube into which a food sample is mixed with warm water. A test strip is then inserted into the tube, and after a few minutes reveals whether any pork traces are present by displaying two lines for a positive result and one for a negative result.
It can also sniff out alcohol in food products too, like a proper party pooper. The company is also developing a test that can detect how an animal was killed too. It’s all glamour, basically.
Capital Biotech said: “There are similar tests which use similar technology, but they are much more complicated to use, and require a special liquid extraction buffer usually containing ethanol. We concentrated our research efforts to simplify the use of these tests and get rid of the liquid extraction buffer, which makes them easy to use by anyone and anywhere.”
Imagine that – going to a restaurant and pulling out a mini laboratory and making the rest of your family wait for your findings while their food goes cold.
Seems like Burger King have been having their photos taken in castle ruins, listening to Bauhaus and writing awful poetry, as they’ve made a goth burger.
Sadly for you gloom merchants, you’ll have to go to Japan for one.
These rascals are called ‘Kuro Burgers’ and have bamboo charcoal buns, onion and garlic sauce made with squid ink, burgers made with black pepper and black cheese.
You can get a Kuro Pearl and a Kuro Diamond with all the doom trimmings. Eating one may turn you into Robert Smith, so weigh that up before chowing down.
The range consists of 30 dishes, for either 2-4 people, and should be in selected stores from the end of September.
As with any ready meal, all the meals can be cooked from frozen and features ingredients that cope the best with the frozen wastes.
“We’re well known for our ready meals, and we felt that we could do our frozen prepared foods justice in terms of quality” said someone from M&S.
“This move was part of the expansion of our food ranges and has nothing to do with other retailers, especially not Iceland,” the spokesman added cattily, honest.
Still, no-one’s buying non-food items from M&S, so they might want to have a look at those arms of the business before trying to fix things with frozen pies.
Marks & Spencer have launched a new TV advertising campaign for its food.
The ‘Adventures in Imagination’ (which, if it involved the Body Talk hitmakers, would be even more amazing) slightly harks back to their soft-porny ‘Not Just Any…’ series of ads, with erotic cutting and gooey centres oozing just so.
M&S has said that the ad is to “tease the nation’s increasingly discerning taste buds” and highlights the most in-demand food trends featured in the retailer’s autumn 2014 range, such as lush looking patisserie loveliness, top quality cuts, runny Scotch eggs and showcases the Kouign-amann, a traditional Breton cake that is a cross between a croissant and a brioche.
It’s also a rare opportunity to hear that most-streamed-song-of-the-year Clean Bandit number.
The unnecessarily lengthily titled M&S executive director of marketing and international Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne said: “Over the last decade, consumers’ culinary tastes have become more adventurous and Britain’s love affair with food has really ignited.”
“Our new campaign reflects this shift and uses a different language to the price-focused supermarkets. It brings to life the hundreds of new ideas we have in our food halls every month by showcasing the sensual and surprising aspects of food – like its textures and movement – in a modern, stylish and precision format.”
‘A different language’ – nice bit of shade there.
Around 70% of the year’s hazelnut crop has been wiped out due to a March frost in Turkey.
The price of hazelnuts has gone right up, too, to a 10 year high, with worries that the prices will only increase as the shortage bites further.
Nutella fans should be very concerned, as it has 50 hazelnuts per jar.
Ferrero, who make Nutella, are the largest consumers of hazelnuts, having bought the Turkish supplier Oltan Group in July.
There’s no clear news at the moment of impending price rises on hazelnut-based treats, but we’ll keep you in the loop about exactly when and where to turn up with pitchforks and the like.
You can also contact the samaritans if you’re having any troubling thoughts regarding this news.
With more seating in shops and a bunch of salady things and butties that are under 400 calories, they’ve got one eye on becoming a budget version of Pret or something. And they’re doing something right, because half-year profits up nearly 50%.
Greggs’ finance director, Richard Hutton, said: “We want to make sure we keep pace with changing taste. People have developed a taste for good coffee and healthy food.”
However, the good people of Britain are still great enough to know the value of deliciously greasy food, with Hutton adding: ”We still sell more sausage rolls than anything else, more than 100m a year. You will still see the sausage roll as a snack. It has 350 calories. There’s nothing to worry about for the sausage roll.”
Next up for Greggs is new fresh soup and hot sandwiches in the Autumn. Basically, they’ve noticed that everyone likes coffee shops, so they’ll be better than them by being a coffee shop that sells pasties.
“Greggs has a similar model to Pret. We have a similar supply chain, although we own our own bakeries, Pret don’t. Both are about good food made fresh.”
Just don’t remove too much salt and grease from your food though because, really, that’s the reason why people still shop there. If it doesn’t pass Dr Nick’s see-through food test, it isn’t worth bothering with.
Instead of spunking all their hard earned wages on goji berries and wheatgrass and other dubious inedibles, our favourite consumer vanguards suggest that people should try cheaper alternatives, like kiwi fruit and sardines.
In what has to be their most niche report yet, Which!!! found that swapping blueberries for kiwis and salmon for sardines could help healthy types save £440 a year and still stay alive longer (while not having any fun.)
Lean, mean, tanned and toned Richard Lloyd from Which!!! paused his Tracy Anderson workout DVD and said:
‘You don’t need to break the bank to eat healthily. We’ve found you can swap some superfoods for cheaper alternatives and save a packet while still getting the vitamins you need.’
Thanks Richard! And now we can spend that lovely £440 on beer and pipes of Pringles.
Staff at a branch of Dominos in Linlithgow, West Lothian face a grilling after they were caught buying cheap jumbo bags of potato wedges from Aldi and then trying to pass them off as Domino’s own brand.
The cheapo wedges cost only 59p from Aldi, whereas Dominos wedges are a staggering £3.49 for a tiny box. But staff say they’d run out due to Wimbledon and the World Cup, and they were just trying to keep up with an unprecedented demand for wedge action.
A customer spotted what they were up to when he went in to order a pizza, and said: ‘I had a bit of a chuckle – but it’s really cheeky flogging Aldi products as their own.’
Domino’s bosses explained the problem.
‘With big sporting events in full swing, the Linlithgow store was faced with no wedges. We do not advocate this as a solution. We have spoken to the store to ensure ordering has been adjusted and our customers get Domino’s wedges.’
It’s actually pretty enterprising when you think about it – and it also very much begs the question: ‘is there a scientific correlation between major sporting events and potato wedges?’
So let us ditch the stuff and instead embrace the Food Hugger, a silicone device that keeps that abandoned half an onion fresh for weeks on end.
The premise, like most things that actually work, is simple. The device is a reusable silicone disk that wraps itself around fruit and vegetables – and crazy online reviewers are in raptures, saying that it keeps food fresh for much longer than anything else.
American designers Adrienne McNicholas and Michelle Ivankovic invented the device to help halt the amount of food waste in the US. And it’s all about the silicone ‘second skin’ – meaning your old manky veg will be completely airtight and no mould will get in.
‘The most targeted solution to the problem of keeping them as fresh as possible was to address the area where the skin had been cut away, and to develop ideas for how we could replace the missing protective skin.’ Said the ladies, chomping on a brilliantly fresh 12 day old tomato.
Originally the project was funded by Kickstarter, but it looks set to TAKE OVER THE WORLD. So there’s no excuse to have fights with cling film or be foiled by foil – for £14.99 you can give your food a hug and keep that half a pepper (that you have no intention of using ever again) until Doomsday.
This is fine dining at its finest, and a curry pour deux at Gymkhana – named after the jolly horse event favoured by posh teenage girls called Binky – will set you back about £100. And it’s in Mayfair.
Oh, and this is real curry, by the way, not your bog standard Patak’s korma.
Chef Karam Sekhi is known for his uncompromising Indian cuisine, and he’s refused to tone things down for weak British palettes more used to Findus Crispy Pancakes than fenugreek.
In fact, it’s so good that the restaurant has now been awarded National Restaurant of The Year, which means that the humble curry house has finally been lifted into the stratosphere of haute cuisine.
‘It’s a testament to the quality of Gymkhana as well as the true diversity of the UK’s eating out scene that an Indian restaurant has been named the best place to eat out in the UK,’ said Stefan Chomka, editor of Restaurant magazine. [Shout out to the amazing Mughli in Manchester - Ed.]
Yes, no longer will Indian restaurants be places where you try to competitively eat a table made of naan washed down with a pint of flat Kingfisher. Expect to see lots of overpriced posh Indian restaurants opening in your neighbourhood soon…
Thanks to BOGOF offers and our busy lifestyles – (ie, we’re wage slaves who are too tired to cook for our families from scratch), the UK is binning a million tons of food each year, some of which hasn’t even been opened.
The Government’s waste advisory body, WRAP, are blaming sell-by date confusion, poor cooking skills and the proliferation of buy one get one free offers from supermarkets.
They also say we’ve lost touch with the ‘value of food’ and that it’s part of our culture to leave food on our plates – which is rubbish (Bitterwallet’s mam always made us eat all our food or get smacked with a stick).
Fresh produce like salad and vegetables are the first things to hit the bin, accounting for 30% of all food waste. Unopened bags of salad account for a staggering 260,000 tons, while 46,000 tons of carrots are chucked every year.
But hang on, is it all our fault for being bad cooks and wasteful idiots? Or is it the fact that supermarkets still insist on BOGOFs on fresh stuff you’ll never be able to use in time? (Unless you run a soup kitchen).
And could it be that we’re all so time-poor that we’re too exhausted to think about creative things to do with leftovers at 6pm when the kids need to do their homework and you’ve just put in a 12 hour shift at the call centre?
Let’s face it, when every day is a hard day, it’s easier to ditch the broccoli and get a takeaway, which are available on every street corner and heavily advertised into our eyeballs every waking hour.
But sure, WRAP, just say we’re crap cooks and make us feel guilty – that’ll help.