Contributed by HMRC
11/12/2019 - Seasonal Spuds
THE NATION is divided in its opinion on mashed potato at Christmas as stats reveal you’re much more likely to want mash on your Christmas dinner plate if you live in the North of Britain, compared to the South.
Those living in the South East are least likely to choose mashed potatoes, with only one in five residents picking it as part of their perfect plate – and just over one in three of those living in the East of England (34%)- while three quarters of people living in the North East would consider it a crucial part of their Christmas dinner.
Looking to discover what the nation’s preferred Christmas dinner plate comprises of, Seasonal Spuds – an initiative backed by the UK’s leading potato producer Branston that looks to inspire the public to enjoy more potatoes – commissioned the online YouGov survey of more than 1,800 members of the public who celebrate Christmas across England, Scotland and Wales.
Jackie Baker, communications manager at Branston said: “Admittedly, we were hoping to see spuds rank highly, but we were stunned to see such a north south divide on mash.”
The survey also shows that more people in the East of England would opt for Yorkshire puddings than those living in its native county, as almost three quarters (73%) of those in the east chose the traditional batter-based pud compared to only 67% of Yorkshiremen and women*.
The east of the country has also opted for a more plant-based Christmas this year, as turkey has fallen three places down the league table from seventh to tenth. The eastern counties have also proven to be the Britain’s biggest fans of both leeks and stuffing, with over a third choosing leeks (36%) and a whopping 85% opting for stuffing*.
ROAST POTATOES TOP THE LIST
“There is one thing the nation can agree on however, and that’s our love of roast potatoes. Regardless of age, gender or location the survey placed roast potatoes at the top of people’s dinner wish list this Christmas.”
The stats revealed that on the average dream Christmas dinner plate, 92% of people included roast potatoes. 94% opted for either roasts or mash and 40% were doubling up; choosing both options to create their perfect plate of festive food.
Jackie continued: “It just wouldn’t be Christmas without potatoes – and they’re so versatile you can cook them however you want to satisfy all your Christmas guests.”
So, it’s no wonder that demand soars for spuds during the run-up to Christmas. Sales of fresh potatoes and ready-prepared roasties experience a massive increase at this time of year.
“Our teams work around the clock to meet the demand for extra spuds in the final weeks of December. Production ramps up by over 80% to make sure there are enough fresh potatoes in supermarkets**. And in our Prepared factory we produce an extra 115,000 packs of ready-to-roast potatoes through December.”
As well as showing differences in opinion depending on your location the survey also showed clear differences in opinion depending on when you were born. Veering away from tradition, nearly three quarters of Gen Z, millennials and Gen X (18 to 44-year-olds) included Yorkshire puddings in their ideal Christmas dinner, compared to just half (51%) of baby boomers (over 55s)*.
The survey also revealed that Brexit isn’t the only time Brussels is causing divided opinions between age groups.
“It looks like it really is true that you learn to love the taste of Brussels sprouts as you get older,” said Jackie.
“Less than half of 18 to 24-year-olds (48%) wanted the green vegetable on their ideal Christmas dinner. Meanwhile, for more than three quarters of over 55s (78%), Christmas isn’t complete without the traditional trimming.”
MAKE MINE MEAT FREE
Younger generations are also more likely to opt for meat free gravy compared to their mature counterpart. Almost one in four 18 to 24-year-olds picked meat free gravy (24%), whereas less than one in ten people (9%) aged 55+ chose veggie gravy – similarly just 9% of over 55s would choose a nut roast.
Jackie added: “There is no denying the huge debate about eating meat products and flexitarians, vegans, and vegetarians becoming more mainstream. This is known to be something that’s influencing younger generations and our stats back this up.”
From the options provided in the survey, 81% of 18 to 24-year-olds included a product containing meat*** – significantly lower than the national average, which is 89%.
For inspiring recipes for your Christmas dinner visit www.seasonalspuds.com
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