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Young people are ditching gravy with a roast dinner condiments for ketchup and chilli mayo


A good dollop of gravy is the key completing a Christmas dinner for many.

Alongside turkey, roast potatoes and many trimmings, many see the sauce as an essential part of a festive meal.

But younger people are swapping out gravy for ketchup and mayonnaise, according to a new report by Tesco.

While the majority of those aged over 65 will opt for gravy with their roast on December 25, less than half of those under 34 will be using alternatives

Millennials will opt for ketchup instead, while Gen Z prefer olive oil, sweet and sour sauce, mayonnaise and even chilli sauce. 

Millennials will opt for ketchup instead of gravy with their Christmas roast,  while Gen Z prefer olive oil, sweet and sour sauce, mayonnaise and even chilli sauce (stock image)

Millennials will opt for ketchup instead of gravy with their Christmas roast,  while Gen Z prefer olive oil, sweet and sour sauce, mayonnaise and even chilli sauce (stock image)

Trendy Londoners will use the least amount of gravy, while Newcastle residents are the most likely to pour it on their plates.

Despite the lack of traditional festive sauces, younger people are returning to more traditional meals.

While previous years have seen an increase in vegan and vegetarian options, this year most Brits will opt for turkey dinners.

Who is on the gravy train – and who is team ketchup?

This year, 67 per cent of those aged 65-74, and 75 and above, will opt for gravy. 

Yet less than half (42 per cent) of 25–34-year-olds and 48 per cent of Gen Z will choose the traditional accompaniment.

Instead, they’re most likely to reach for the ketchup – 12 per cent (Gen Z) and 11 per cent (25-34-year-olds).

Gen Zs are also planning to try olive oil (13 per cent), sweet and sour sauce (10 per cent), mayo (10 per cent), and even hot or chill sauce (7 per cent).

 

Emma Botton, Group Customer Director at Tesco told FEMAIL: ‘After an unpredictable summer filled with heatwaves and downpours, it’s no surprise that as a nation we’re looking forward to Christmas more than ever. 

‘It’s a time to connect with friends and family and indulge in our favourite foods.

‘In the sixth edition of our annual Christmas report, we reveal the current mood of the nation as we head into the festive months; looking at how we’ll be celebrating, what we’ll be eating and when we’ll be getting into the Christmas spirit. Spoiler: it’s already started in some homes’.

The fall in the number of vegan diners is perhaps no surprise to those following food trends.

The fall in the number of vegan diners is perhaps no surprise to those following food trends.

The rise in vegan diets has no doubt been on of the biggest trends of the last ten years – with most food brands, restaurants and cafes launching plant-based options in their menus.

But it seems the fall of veganism has come as quickly as the rise, with many brands now ditching or declining their plant-based options with sales dwindling.

In December, Pret A Manger closed half of its vegetarian and vegan-only stores, after admitting many customers don’t see themselves as ‘full-time veggies’, while Meatless Farm, one of the country’s leading faux-meat retailers has gone into administration.

The firm was set up in 2016 and sold £11million worth of plant-based mince, burgers and chicken in 2021 – but has struggled as demand for meat-free products slowed.

While popular lunchtime staples such as Costa and Starbucks still have vegan staples on their menus, Costa’s  summer menu offered no new vegan options, while Starbucks offered the plant-based breakfast wrap, but nothing meat-and-dairy free in their lunch menu.

It's looking like there will be a return to tradition this year, with meat as the centrepiece on almost 4 out of 5 (79 per cent) dinner tables this Christmas Day - up 5 per cent from last year. Tesco Finest Thor's Hammer Centrepiece is pictured

It’s looking like there will be a return to tradition this year, with meat as the centrepiece on almost 4 out of 5 (79 per cent) dinner tables this Christmas Day – up 5 per cent from last year. Tesco Finest Thor’s Hammer Centrepiece is pictured

Many vegans are citing the soaring-cost of alternatives as part of the reason for the decline in demand for ‘faux meat’ products, instead opting for ‘back to basic’ products like beans and pulses to get protein in their diets. 

Meat on the menu 

It’s looking like there will be a return to tradition this year, with meat as the centrepiece on almost 4 out of 5 (79 per cent) dinner tables this Christmas Day – up 5 per cent from last year.

Turkey will see a resurgence on the plates of almost half of UK adults (48 per cent, up 6 per cent from last year), followed by chicken (11 per cent), roast beef (6 per cent), lamb (4 per cent) and steak (2 per cent).

Customers have also complained of lack of stock for vegan options in chains like Wasabi – while Clean Kitchen Club, a mecca for vegans, shut down all their restaurant this year.

V Rev, one of Manchester’s first and most popular vegan eatery’s closed its doors in December.

Other vegan restaurant in Manchester including JJ’s Vish and Chips and Zad’s as well as Frost Burgers in Liverpool and Donner Summer in Sheffield also shut their doors in 2022 citing costs as the reason.

Kalifornia Kitchen, an ultra-trendy vegan eatery in London also closed its doors while the Mango Tree in Taunton, Somerset, which opened as a plant-based restaurant starting selling meat and vegetarian dishes in a bid to win more customers.

Edinburgh vegan bar and restaurant Harmonium shut after an ‘incredibly difficult period of trading’ in April. 

The trend appears to be global, with vegan restaurants as far and wide as Sydney and LA also shutting down due to a combination of rising bills and less demand.



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