Spam and sardines are back as the cost of living crisis makes cooks more frugal | UK cost of living crisis

The cost of living crisis has put home cooks on a war footing with a new ‘thrifty’ mindset that has boosted supermarket sales of nostalgic canned foods, including spam and pilchards , as well as inexpensive cuts such as fish heads.

With official figures showing food price inflation of almost 15 per cent, Waitrose said its customers were looking for cautious meal alternatives and making small downgrades such as swapping sourdough for sliced ​​white bread and olive oil against cheaper vegetable oil.

In its annual food and drink report, Waitrose says spam sales, which cost £3 for a large box, have increased by 36% this year. If you’re wondering what people do with these processed pork and ham slices, searches for the recipe for “smashed pea spam fritters” on his website have increased by more than 80%.

Waitrose says the ‘use-all trend’ and shift to cheaper slow cooking appeared to be behind sales of beef shank, beef cheek and lamb neck, with sales of fish heads having increased by 34%. Photograph: Waitrose/PA

Martyn Lee, the supermarket’s executive chef, said the squeeze on the cost of living was prompting people to “think creatively” and explore more affordable cuts of meat and protein. His customers were also becoming more adventurous with their cooking and looking further afield for inspiration.

“Fish head soups and curries have long been popular in Asia,” Lee said. “For Spam, social media also plays a role, as does a sense of nostalgia and novelty. After taking the initial step, people realize that it is actually a versatile ingredient.

With Britons forced to drastically change the way they shop during the Covid lockdowns, many had already fallen in love with canned food with everything from corned beef to beans, pulses and fish enjoying popularity unprecedented since the rationing of the Second World War. The cause was also aided by the advocacy of high profile food writers such as Jack Monroe.

The Waitrose report, based on analysis of its sales data over the past 12 months as well as a survey of 2,000 consumers, says three out of four shoppers are now more careful about what they spend. More than a third were looking for bargains and one in four were watching for yellow stickers on discounted items.

The upmarket chain, which competes with cheaper rivals such as Aldi and Lidl to hang on to shoppers, said some ingredients were also being cut from shopping lists.

What he describes as “minor downgrades” include using chicken thighs instead of breasts to make budget-friendly mid-week baking trays and buying sliced ​​white bread instead of artisan breads. Sales of sliced ​​white bread are up almost a fifth.

Cooks have also been looking for inventive ways to save money on foods that have risen in price the most. With a packet of butter costing 28% more than the same time last year, online searches for “homemade butter” have skyrocketed, Waitrose said.

About Jimmie T.

Check Also

Lindauer is replacing New Zealand grapes in its wine with Australian grapes to cut costs

Lindauer is an iconic brand of kiwi sparkling wine, but soon some of your favorite …