Food For Thought - April 2024

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.

April 17, 2024
Kathryn Race
April 17, 2024
Kathryn Race

Healthy food a 'luxury'

The majority of UK consumers now consider healthy food a luxury, a new survey by the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission has found. Only 8% believe it is affordable to most people. Nearly 50% say they have had to cut back on food quality because of financial pressures. [Source: Food, Farming & Countryside Commission]

Takeaway habit

Brits continue to eat significantly more takeaways than before the pandemic, a study by the IFS has shown. Before Covid, UK adults got an average of 270 calories a week from takeaways. Post-Covid, the figure is 400. [Source: The Guardian]

Attitudes to healthy snacking

'Low sugar' is the biggest health attribute Brits look for when buying a snack bar, mentioned by 39% of consumers, according to Vypr research commissioned by The Grocer.  37% of consumers want high protein, while gut health ingredients were mentioned by 17%. [Source: The Grocer]

Green finance for farmers

Tesco has teamed up with NatWest to offer financial assistance and new funding options to farmers looking to invest in renewable energy and sustainable farming methods. [Source: New Food Magazine]

'Naked clams'

To save the oceans while still consuming the recommended amount of fish, a group of scientists is arguing that people should eat less of the 'big 5' species and instead consume more shipworms. Also dubbed 'naked clams', shipworms are bivalves that are highly efficient at converting wood into protein. They supposedly taste like oysters. [Source: FT]

Magnesium has its moment

The mineral has recently gone viral on social media platforms including TikTok, largely in connection with brain health and anti-anxiety benefits. This could boost sales of magnesium supplements but also magnesium-rich foods such as nuts and leafy green veg. [Source: BBC Food]

Vertical farms boost food security

Researchers at Aberystwyth University have said vertical farming could be an important way to ensure the UK’s future food security. The ability to grow crops in a controlled environment could be a major advantage in light of climate change, but there remain big challenges around scalability and affordability. [Source: Food Manufacture]

The big salad renaissance

A new crop of salad bars, such as The Salad Project and Farmer J, is reinventing the lunchtime salad for consumers looking for wholesome, seasonal and unprocessed foods. The ability to customise and personalise salads is a big part of the appeal. [Source: The Times]

London's greenest restaurant

Silo, a zero-waste restaurant in Hackney, has been named the capital's most sustainable restaurant. It describes itself as 'a restaurant without a bin'.  [Source: Time Out]

Afternoon tea boom

British hotels and cafés are experiencing a surge in bookings for afternoon tea. Interest is being driven by royal events such as last year’s coronation and a new generation discovering tea rituals through social media. [Source: The Guardian]