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Growing British Consumer Interest in Chinese Cuisine

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Growing British Consumer Interest in Chinese Cuisine

Growing British Consumer Interest in Chinese Cuisine
February 24
12:38 2015

Chinese reigns as Britain’s favourite world cuisine in both homes and ethnic restaurants. New research from Mintel reveals that almost four in five (78%) British consumers have eaten Chinese food at home in the past three months, with 12% eating it at least once a week. Indeed, consumption of Chinese food trumps both Indian fare, which has been eaten by 74% of Brits in the home over the last 3 months, and Mexican cuisine, which has been consumed by 48%.

There have been similar success stories across many other traditional Chinese food and drink staples in the UK over the past year. Soy sauce volume sales are estimated to have reached 4 million kg in the UK in 2014, up from 3 million kg in 2013, meaning volume sales of the condiment are now on a par with British favourites such as Mint and Apple sauce which similarly posted sales of 4 million kg in 2014.

In addition, value sales of green tea bags have also been brewing, rising by 30% between 2011 and 2013 from £23 million to £30 million. Today, one in 10 (9%) Brits drink green tea at least once a day.

Richard Ford, Senior Food Analyst at Mintel, says: “The fact that Soy sauce is now on a par with British favourites such as Mint and Apple, reflects growing consumer interest in oriental cuisine. The ease with which supermarkets and restaurants have been able to translate Chinese dishes into ready meal and takeaway formats has been key to Chinese cuisine’s ability to endure in the UK market; despite the plethora of cuisines that are now available to Brits in supermarkets and restaurants, Chinese remains popular with a majority. Whilst dishes such as chow mein and sweet & sour chicken are typical of the cuisine, operators continue to surprise and delight consumers with more unusual offerings.”

As well as Britain’s kitchen cupboards and stoves, Chinese food is also prevailing in the foodservice arenas. Mintel’s research finds that three quarters (76%) of ethnic restaurant or takeaway users have visited a Chinese restaurant or takeaway, topping the proportion visiting Indian (72%) or Thai (40%) eating-houses.

Furthermore it is those in the Capital who have the strongest taste for Chinese food. Four in five (80%) Londoners have ever used or visited a Chinese restaurant compared to 70% in the West Midlands, 75% in Wales, 76% in the North West, South East and East Anglia, 77% in Yorkshire and Humberside, and 78% in Scotland and the East Midlands.

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