Some 80% of us don't trust "experts who tell us what's 'healthy' and what isn't," according to Waitrose's annual Food and Drink Report. And 60% of us are setting our own "health boundaries" instead, doing our own research and deciding what diet is best for us and our own lifestyles. The report, released on 21 October, was compiled over a year with focus groups and "comprehensive" polling.
Healthy eating trends are evidently on the rise with sales of avocados up 24% and courgettes up 10% as diners take up "spiralising" (vegetables shredded to resemble and replace pasta, such as spaghetti). Healthy eating trends like the ones for avocados and coconut-products are still causing sales spikes, even if we have little time for what the "experts" are saying.
More people are making the choice to cut out other elements of their diet with "free from..." ranges up 18%. In addition to that, sales of almond milk overtook sales of soya milk for the first time suggesting an increased awareness in the environmental impact of large soya plantations.
Of the 60% setting our own health boundaries, a third are cutting down on sugar – the most popular health management technique of 2015, and a quarter are abstaining from alcohol during the week. For those of us still up for a tipple, gin sales on the Waitrose online booze stop waitrosecellar.com were up a staggering 300% – 25% of those sales going to Londoners. Vermouth, another liquor enjoying heightened status, is up 24% and premium tequilas, no longer just for regrettable shots, are up 20%.
Another trend noted by the report is a decline in TV dinners – with 30% of people saying that technology that lets you pause live TV as well as the advent of online streaming services like Netflix has led to the decrease.
In the modern age of variety, two thirds of us say we are overwhelmed by the amount of choice available. According to Waitrose managing director Mark Price, "people are setting their own definable parameters for living. It is their way of navigating this sea of unlimited choice".