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UK Food Trends 2021: What Britain Likes To Eat

UK Food Trends 2021: What Britain Likes To Eat

Using food trends, insights and data, HelloFresh's takes a closer look at the UK's home cooking habits. From go-to meals to favourite ingredients, find out what's on the menu below!

Using food trends, insights and data, HelloFresh's takes a closer look at the UK's home cooking habits. From go-to meals to favourite ingredients, find out what's on the menu below!

Most popular cuisines

Trending ingredient

Vegetarian or meat?

Most popular dish types

Choice of carbs

Most popular cuisines

Trending ingredient

Vegetarian or meat?

Most popular dish types

Choice of carbs

Staying in leaves our taste buds craving more

Restaurants in the UK remained closed for the first three months of the year. However, that didn’t stop us from craving some of our favourite dishes, with many of us recreating the culinary flair of fancy restaurants at home. So far in 2021, fusion dishes have accounted for almost 4% more recipes shipped than they did in 2020, as we enjoy fine dining at home.

Likewise, with travel still limited, Brits are increasingly opting for global cuisines, despite British food being in the country’s top three cuisines. Between January and March 2021, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Mexican food all accounted for a greater percentage of recipes shipped than they did in 2020. As we spent more time at home, it seems we were inspired to create some of our favourite dishes from across the world.

The UK likes Italian food best

Of the total recipes shipped by HelloFresh in the UK between January 2021 and March 2021:

  1. 21.14% were Italian recipes (2,658,238 orders)
  2. 14.98% were British recipes (1,883,639 orders)
  3. 13.95% were Asian recipes (1,754,444 orders).

These three cuisines have consistently been Brits' favourites since January 2019, showing just how much we love the country's national dishes. So far in 2021, Zanzibarian, Chinese and Mediterranean are the least popular cuisines among HelloFresh customers.

The UK's search trends reveal which Italian dish is the favourite

Analysis of the UK’s search habits reveals which Italian dishes we like best. Based on the number of times Brits look them up online every month, the top five Italian dishes in the UK are:

1. Pizza (123,000)
2. Carbonara (92,000)
3. Tiramisu (67,000)
4. Risotto (67,000)
5. Polenta (55,000)

Taking the top spot is pizza, perhaps unsurprisingly given its universal popularity. However, a closer look at the monthly searches reveal our favourite toppings - and the results may surprise you!

The UK's favourite pizzas

1. Margherita pizza (13,000)
2. Vegan pizza (7,400)
3. Pepperoni pizza (7,200)
4. Neapolitan pizza (5,500)
5. Hawaiian pizza (5,500)

Despite pineapple on pizza being hotly debated, Hawaiian pizza is the fifth most searched pizza type in the UK every month!

The UK prefers appetisers to desserts

Are you having a starter or a dessert? The age old question! According to our data, Brits are more likely to enjoy an appetiser than a dessert. Between January and March 2021, our customers have chosen a whopping 103,243 appetisers, compared to just 46,436 desserts.

Looking at the top 10 appetisers, lashings of cheese and garlic seem to make the perfect starter while for dessert, the more chocolate the better! Cheesy truffle wedges take the appetiser top spot, suggesting that Brits are treating themselves to a little more luxury at mealtimes.

Breads are another popular choice for appetisers; while Brits love a garlic bread, foccacia is actually more popular amongst HelloFresh customers (12,200 vs. 14,362). And it seems that sourdough might have had its moment in 2020, as in the first three months of 2021, it can only manage third place with 7,165 orders.

Top 10 Most Chosen Desserts 2021

1. Hot Chocolate Molten Middles (2,444 orders)
2. Milk Chocolate Mousse (1,867 orders)
3. Hot Sticky Toffee Puddings (1,795 orders)
4. Blueberry and Vanilla Muffin (1,746 orders)
5. Oat and Raisin Cookie (1,712 orders)
6. Chocolate Brownie (1,685 orders)
7. Salted Caramel Cheesecakes (1,639 orders)
8. Vanilla Cheesecakes (1,582 orders)
9. Cranberry & White Chocolate Muffin (1,542 orders)
10. Hot Chocolate Brownies (1,518 orders)

Top 10 Most Chosen Appetisers 2021

1. Cheesy Truffle Wedges (4,385 orders)
2. Nachos with Tomato Salsa & Guacamole (3,547 orders)
3. Garlic Bread (3,526 orders)
4. Cheesy Hasselback Garlic Bread (3,394 orders)
5. Rainbow Veg Sides (3,356 orders)
6. Ciabatta Loaf (3,312 orders)
7. Sourdough Cob (2,783 orders)
8. Honey Drizzled Bacon and Halloumi Bites (2,729 orders)
9. All the Greens Veg Sides (2,401 orders)
10. Ciabatta Bread Pizza with Mozzarella (2,391 orders)

Top 10 Most Chosen Desserts 2021

1. Hot Chocolate Molten Middles (2,444 orders)
2. Milk Chocolate Mousse (1,867 orders)
3. Hot Sticky Toffee Puddings (1,795 orders)
4. Blueberry and Vanilla Muffin (1,746 orders)
5. Oat and Raisin Cookie (1,712 orders)
6. Chocolate Brownie (1,685 orders)
7. Salted Caramel Cheesecakes (1,639 orders)
8. Vanilla Cheesecakes (1,582 orders)
9. Cranberry & White Chocolate Muffin (1,542 orders)
10. Hot Chocolate Brownies (1,518 orders)

Top 10 Most Chosen Appetisers 2021

1. Cheesy Truffle Wedges (4,385 orders)
2. Nachos with Tomato Salsa & Guacamole (3,547 orders)
3. Garlic Bread (3,526 orders)
4. Cheesy Hasselback Garlic Bread (3,394 orders)
5. Rainbow Veg Sides (3,356 orders)
6. Ciabatta Loaf (3,312 orders)
7. Sourdough Cob (2,783 orders)
8. Honey Drizzled Bacon and Halloumi Bites (2,729 orders)
9. All the Greens Veg Sides (2,401 orders)
10. Ciabatta Bread Pizza with Mozzarella (2,391 orders)

Meat is the UK's primary protein choice

The most popular protein choices in the UK in 2021

The top three remains unchanged from 2020. Interestingly, vegetarian dishes are the fourth most popular, with 2,411,205 recipes shipped in the first three months of 2021.

1. Chicken (4,547,183 orders)
2. Pork (3,094,224 orders)
3. Beef (2,691,549 orders)

Protein Searches Reflect the UK's Favourite Cuisines

Google searches reveal how we like to enjoy our protein choices, with each reflecting the UK’s favourite cuisines. Data shows that since 2021 began, searches for ‘creamy Tuscan chicken’ increased by +300%, while ‘creamy cajun chicken pasta’ is up +70%.

We like to enjoy beef in a selection of hearty British dishes. Searches for ‘beef and mushroom stew’ have rocketed +900% while interest in ‘beef and potato pie’ and ‘beef hotpot’ have increased +140% and +100% respectively.

Likewise, demand for Mexican and Mediterranean vegetarian dishes have soared since the start of the year. Most searched dishes include ‘vegetarian quesadilla’ (+100%), ‘vegetarian enchiladas’ (+90%) and ‘mediterranean vegetarian recipes’ (+70%).

Where are the UK's Vegetarian Hotspots?

The highest proportion of vegetarian HelloFresh meals are shipped to our customers in Wales (18.50%) while the lowest proportion (13%) goes to Scotland. Below, you can see the UK regions where the highest number of veggie recipes are shipped to. The data suggests that these locations have some of the highest number of vegetarians in the UK:

The UK is committed to eating well in 2021

Most popular dishes in the UK in 2021

Overall, the top three dish types in the UK in 2021 are:

  1. Balanced (27.11%)
  2. Bowl (13.54%)
  3. Pasta (13.30%)

    Balanced dishes are consistently the most popular dish type in the UK. Yet, between January and March 2021, balanced dishes represented a higher percentage of recipes shipped compared to the same period in 2020 (27% vs. 15%). With the popularity of balanced dishes up almost 12%, it seems Brits are committed to eating well in 2021.

Pasta is Back on the Menu

Most Popular Carbs in the UK in 2021

Recipes containing the following carbs were most popular in the first three months of 2021:
1. White Potato (4,323,869 orders)
2. Basmati Rice (2,208,478 orders)
3. Shortcut Pasta (887,386 orders)
In 2020, the third most popular carb was noodles, with pasta missing out on the top three. As a staple dish that many stockpiled last year, it seems we're finally back in the mood for this hearty carb.

Get mealtime inspiration with HelloFresh

Get mealtime inspiration with HelloFresh

Cooking at home needn't be scary. Choose your meals from our weekly menu and recieve fresh, pre-portioned ingredients to your door. Follow our step-by-step recipes and enjoy tasty home cooking in as little as 25 minutes.

Cooking at home needn't be scary. Choose your meals from our weekly menu and recieve fresh, pre-portioned ingredients to your door. Follow our step-by-step recipes and enjoy tasty home cooking in as little as 25 minutes.

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Methodology

The Food Trends 2021 report uses internal data based on the recipe choices made by HelloFresh UK customers. Data relates to January 2019 - March 2021. Supplementary data was included to provide a wider context to UK’s food trends. Search volumes are based on the average number of searches per month for a query using data from Ahrefs. Search increases were found using data from Google Trends, with timeframes specified in the above copy.

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HelloFresh is the world’s leading meal kit company and operates in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Australia, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, New Zealand, France, Sweden and Denmark.
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