Food for thought – July 2023

Spotting interesting trends and finding noteworthy food facts and figures is a big part of what we do at Ceres. Here are 10 recent articles, reports and long reads that made us stop and think.

July 14, 2023
Kathryn Race
A plate with a question mark on it, with a spoon, fork and knife
July 14, 2023
Kathryn Race

Microwave nation:

Waitrose’s Cooking Report reveals the microwave is the number-one kitchen appliance UK consumers say they can’t live without. Searches for ‘microwave meals’ on are up 71% year on year and sales of microwaves are up 13% at John Lewis. [Source: Waitrose]


Little trust in carbon claims:

Research by Bord Bia suggests 61% of UK consumers do not fully believe the carbon footprinting information found on grocery items. Nearly three-quarters say more transparency is needed around carbon claims. [Source: Food Manufacture]


DIY lunches on the rise:

The cost-of-living crisis has resulted in more people making their own lunches rather than going for shop-bought options. Kantar data shows lunchbox occasions rose by 7% over the past year, equating to an extra 108 million lunchboxes being made. [Source: The Grocer]


Concern over malnutrition in the UK:

‘Victorian’ diseases such as scurvy and rickets are on the rise and cases of malnutrition have more than doubled in a decade and quadrupled since 2007/8, new data shows. Experts say the quality of many children’s diets is especially poor, with ultra-processed foods accounting for a large proportion of calories consumed. [Source: The Times]


Ultra-processed confusion:

Two in five Brits claim to understand what the term ‘ultra-processed’ means, but in practice many are unable to accurately identify ultra-processed foods, research by IGD has found. 27% say they consider the level of processing when determining whether a food or drink is healthy. [Source: IGD]


More food waste advice needed:

66% of Brits say they wish they knew more about how not to waste food in light of the cost-of-living crisis, according to a survey by HelloFresh. 46% say they don't understand on-pack labelling. [Source: Retail Times]


Shoppers struggle to identify AI food images:

A small study has found that 60% UK consumers are unable to tell if an image of food is real or was generated by artificial intelligence. [Source: The Grocer]


Asda inspires home cooks:

The retailer has set up a ‘content house’ to bring together five TikTok food content creators as part of a campaign to provide recipe inspiration to home cooks. The campaign kicked off on 1 July and saw creators living together for six days and completing challenges set by Asda, including making meals for less than £5. [Source: Grocery Gazette]


Cottage cheese craze:

Cottage cheese is having an unexpected moment on social media, leading to a swathe of new (and often unusual) recipes popping up on platforms such as TikTok. Key examples include a cottage cheese and mustard dip, and a cottage cheese cookie dough recipe. [Source: Delish]


McDonald’s wedding package:

The quick-service restaurant chain has launched a $200 wedding package in Indonesia, offering couples a catering deal that includes 100 chicken sandwiches and 100 four-piece chicken McNuggets items. [Source: CNBC]