Cheese: the most popular staple food for 20 years…

Modern Fridge Staples

30th March 2012

Pass the cheese, please…

Mineral water, olives and pro-biotic drinks are the modern fridge foods most likely to be found in kitchens up and down the country.

A study has shown that curry paste, hummus and a ready-prepared bag of salad are other items the British now consider to be fridge essentials – all of which is in stark contrast to 20 years ago, when the family fridge was most likely to contain lard, fish paste, liver and dripping.

Researchers also found that cheese has remained the most popular fridge item over the past 20 years, with Cheddar the most popular variety.

Jackie Wilson, Marketing Manager for Cathedral City (the nation’s favourite cheese*), which commissioned the survey, says: ‘’It seems our fridges have really changed over the years, but cheese has remained a constant throughout.”

While cheese has remained a consistent staple, sardines, kidneys and black pudding have been booted out of the nation’s kitchens. Marmalade, preserves and fish paste have been replaced with salad cream, mayonnaise and sweet chilli sauce. Even our milk has changed with health conscious Brits replacing their full fat milk with the skimmed variety.

Jackie Wilson, added: "’It’s amazing to see how people’s tastes have changed over the years. Gone are the days when our fridges contained basic and easy to cook foods. Instead they have been replaced with healthy, organic alternatives....and the odd ready-meal."

Even the fruit and veg we buy is changing with a rise in the pre-prepared food, rather than getting fresh items which you need to peel and chop yourself. We have created a culture where we need to save as much time as possible and relying on ready meals, fruit and veg which has already been peeled and even bottled water seems to be one way we are doing this.

The study also revealed that price is no longer the most important factor when choosing fridge food, with one in five people just getting whatever tastes the best, regardless of how much it costs.

Just 17 per cent get the cheapest food they can buy – a decrease from the 27 per cent of over 50s who said the same of their fridge food shopping 20 years ago. So it’s no surprise that we now spend an average of £37.83 on fridge items each week – up from the £20.58 that was spent 20 years ago.

And while one in ten people now only buy ready peeled or prepared fruit and veg, just one in 20 did the same in past decades. Almost a quarter of people nowadays even admitted to making sure there is exotic or healthy food in their fridge to impress visitors.

Common fridge items now
1. Cheddar Cheese
2. Eggs
3. Mayonnaise
4. Butter
5. Margarine
6. Skimmed milk
7. Tomato ketchup
8. Salad cream
9. Peppers
10. Tomato puree
11. Mineral water
12. Olives
13. Natural/Greek yoghurt
14. Ready prepared salad
15. Sweet chilli sauce
16. Parmesan
17. Hummus
18. Pitta bread
19. Pro-biotic drinks
20. Curry paste

Common fridge items 20 years ago
1. Cheddar cheese
2. Full fat milk
3. Iceberg lettuce
4. Lard
5. Marmalade
6. Fish/sandwich paste
7. Bread
8. Pickled onions
9. Liver
10. Preserves
11. Dripping
12. Black pudding
13. Long life
14. Sardines milk
15. Beef Brisket
16. Kidneys
17. Brawn
18. Cockles
19. Eels
20. Pate

* Nielsen 26th November 2011

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