Creative Brand Communications

The Nation’s Favourite Comfort Foods – Revealed..

• Seven out of ten Britons turn to feel-good food to combat the effects of the credit crunch
• 57% of shoppers admit to putting on weight by comfort eating their way through the recession
• Fish & Chips and Beans on Toast are the meals of choice for the cost conscious

LONDON, Monday 22 June 2009: Traditional favourite Bangers and Mash has been voted the most popular comfort food for cash-strapped Brits trying to cheer themselves up during the financial downturn in a new study which finds that despite rising food prices and the increased cost of living, many people are opting to ‘eat themselves happy’.

bangers_and_mashThe survey, commissioned by new TV channel Good Food, quizzed more than 3,000 British adults about their current eating habits compared with the same time last year. The research shows that while UK shoppers are feeling the pinch in their pockets they are turning to comfort food in an effort to treat themselves while keeping costs as low as possible. Hearty feel-good dish Bangers and Mash is the clear favourite with 16% of respondents rating it their top dish. Its ability to make people happy and its connection with childhood memories are the reasons why it claimed the top spot.

The comprehensive survey also discovered that further traditional comfort fare such as Fish and Chips (15%) and Beans on Toast (10%) are the next most popular dishes of choice. The findings are born out by recently released trading figures from Heinz, which revealed a 21 per cent jump in sales of its Baked Beans in the UK.

The findings suggest that for many, cocoa cravings may peak at a time of crisis, which explains why Chocolate Cake features in the top five credit crunch comfort list with 8% of the votes. Italian dishes Lasagne (7%) and Spaghetti Bolognese are also proving firm favourites along with Shepherd’s Pie. Other must-have dishes include sticky desserts of Treacle Sponge and Custard (5%) and moreish Fruit Crumble and Custard (5%), with the top ten completed by Macaroni Cheese.

The top ten credit crunch comfort foods are:

1. Bangers and Mash (16%)
2. Fish and Chips (15%)
3. Baked Beans on toast (10%)
4. Chocolate cake (8%)
5. Lasagne (7%)
6. Spaghetti Bolognese (5%)
7. Treacle Sponge and Custard (5%)
8. Fruit Crumble and Custard (5%)
9. Shepherd’s Pie (5%)
10. Macaroni Cheese (4%)

Exciting new recipes for these dishes can be found online at: as well as Market Kitchen’s mouthwatering Food For a Fiver recipes

As a result of a rise in comfort eating, British waistlines are also expanding. Three quarters of consumers (77%) admit that they have upped their food intake since the recession began, while four in ten reveal that they have put on an average of six pounds in the last six months. Healthy eating has also been cast aside by a third of shoppers (33%) who say that despite rising costs, food is proving to be their only comfort.

The findings also reveal the main reason why Britons are turning to comfort food is because they feel it is one of the few ways to treat themselves. Eating habits are also changing with 38% of respondents reporting that they prefer to socialise at home with their friends over home-cooked meals in favour of being in the pub (22%) or eating out at restaurants (19%).

Richard Kingsbury Good Food channel head says: “It’s heartening to know that even if people can’t afford to go out they are still having fun with good food and the friends they’ve invited round. Food programmes have played a part in giving people the confidence and creativity to have a go at cooking for friends whether it be Bangers and Mash or Thai Green Curry.”

Celebrity chef Brian Turner says: “At a time when we are getting less for more when we buy food, comfort deserts such as Chocolate Cake, Fruit Crumble and Custard and Treacle Sponge with Custard are helping to put a smile back on our faces. It’s feel-good food for Britain at its best.”

As the recession continues to hit shoppers hard; their attitude to food is also changing with 39% saying they are more budget conscious than they were 12 months ago, while a further 21% also say they hate to see food go to waste.

With the average Briton now spending an extra £35 a month more on groceries than the same time last year, previously considered essentials are now being thought of as luxuries. Steak fares the worst with 52% of shoppers deciding not to buy it, while fruit juice (28%) and pastries (24%) are also being left behind on supermarket shelves.

Celebrity chef Brian Turner is available for interview on Monday 22nd June 2009.

For more information contact Taylor Herring PR on 020 8206 5151


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