Feta and crisps: Sainsbury’s reveals its top food trends of 2021

Over 750,000 bags of crisps were sold the day England was in the Euros final

Laura Hampson
Wednesday 12 January 2022 00:01

Viral videos and hybrid working seemed to dominate our eating habits last year according to a new report from Sainsbury’s.

The supermarket giant has released its end of year report for 2021 and has revealed the foods that saw the biggest increase in sales, from feta to crisps.

Using data from 17.5 million Nectar customers, the supermarket found that shoppers kicked off 2021 by diving headfirst into Veganuary with 16 per cent more customers buying meat alternative products last year than in 2020. The most popular plant-based products included sausages and tofu.

February saw the nation become obsessed with making baked feta pasta after the recipe went viral on TikTok, and this trend was reflected in Sainsbury’s data with sales of the cheese rising by 62 per cent.

As restrictions began to ease in May, and office workers began a new hybrid way of working, Sainsbury’s says its on-the-go purchases rose, with sandwich sales up 160 per cent and salads, sushi and snacking products up by an impressive 177 per cent.

Healthy eating was a common theme throughout 2021, with 7.7 million bunches of bananas being bought in June alone. In fact, 6 billion portions of fruit and vegetables were bought by digital Nectar customers in 2021, with carrots being the stand-out favourite — with 375 million portions bought.

Britons were in a snacking mood in the lead up to watching the England men’s football team play in the Euros final on 11 July last year, with 750,000 bags of crisps sold in Sainsbury’s across the UK that day.

As Omicron hit and we did our best to celebrate Christmas with our families in December, Sainsbury’s customers bought 3.3 million boxes of Christmas mince pies and 2.1 million bags of Brussels sprouts.

More customers than ever traded in a traditional turkey main for the big day, with meat alternative options up by 37 per cent.

The supermarket’s annual review also looked at trends in different areas across the UK and found that customers in Wales, the North West and the West Midlands have the sweetest tooth as this is where the most cream cakes were sold.

The South West were the biggest fans of specialty cheeses while the North East had the highest sales of national newspapers. The East of England were big bread fans, the South East ate high volumes of pasties, pies and pastries and Scotland was the biggest buyer of fizzy drinks.

Mark Given, Chief Marketing Officer at Sainsbury’s said: “At Sainsbury’s we’re passionate about making healthy eating affordable, easy, and delicious. I’m delighted to see that customers have been making food choices that are healthier for both them and the planet, whilst also occasionally indulging in well-overdue celebrations in another unprecedented year.”

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