by Emily Glass
[Originally posted on http://edinburghnapiernews.com/2010/11/10/is-staying-in-the-new-going-out/ 10th November 2010]
Recent figures from J Sainsbury Plc show that the British are choosing nights in rather than going out in town to have a good night.
Whilst the country is still feeling the effects of the economic downturn British people are combating these tough times by curbing spending that seems unnecessary – such as eating out.
Brits are not all simply reaching for cheap ready meals, however, but are seemingly still aiming to eat well but on a tighter budget. Sainsbury’s high-end “Taste the Difference” range’s sales has seen a significant rise in sales since it was launched in September, says Chief Executive Justin King. With rising sales and expansions into non-foods areas such as its clothes line Sainsbury’s is planning on opening new stores across the UK.
Sainbury’s “Taste the Difference” range satisfies consumers’ demands for up-market ready meals to satisfy their now too-pricey restaurant meal alternatives. Other Supermarkets have followed suit and created similar gourmet ready meal lines such as Tesco’s “Finest” range and Asda’s “Chosen By You”.
The Supermarket’s relaunch was fronted by Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver who was seen giving cooking demonstrations and tips in the back of Sainsbury’s lorries in their adverts. Another increasingly popular food trend are the ‘cookalong’ television shows with various celebrity chefs. Delia Smith was the original host of these ‘cook along with the chef’ television shows as she taught her viewers how to cook both on TV and in her Cookery Course books. Now the “face of Waitrose”, Smith caused sell-outs in supermarkets across the country and Sainsbury’s were maybe hoping for the same effect with Oliver as the helm.
Oliver’s Thirty Minute Meals and Gordon Ramsay’s Cookalong Live invite viewers to cook along with them as they produce ‘simple’ meals that the audience can reproduce easily. But with the inclusion of some not so average ingredients on the shopping lists for the menus, Jamie Oliver’s Sainbury’s affiliation is often apparent.
With so much choice in the leading Supermarkets and celebrity chefs making cooking look so easy with shortcuts, meal ideas and cooking tips galore is there really any reason to eat out again? The guarantee of lower stress levels from being cooked for by somebody else, however, may keep the restaurant business ticking over for a while yet.