Gluten-free and vegetarian options are almost off the menu for Brits who, in a Premier Foods poll, demanded more choice, simpler dishes and more prompt service.
Just 4% of those asked in a survey covering various age groups and regions said gluten-free was a main improvement on Christmas party food, while 6% wanted to see more vegetarian options.
More than a quarter (26%) wanted to see more choice, 24% would like simpler serving formats and 19% would prefer it if Christmas party food came out earlier.
‘Indulge that little bit’
“Christmas is all about indulgence,” said Premier Foods channel marketing manager Sarah Robb at the report’s launch yesterday (22 August). “We’re not talking about the whole season, but one night when you’re letting loose – for a Christmas party – and you want to indulge that little bit.”
When it comes to serving formats, 56% of those asked preferred to eat sitting down, 22% wanted their food hot, 9% would like cold food and 2% said bowl food was best.
A stonking 77% of those asked said a turkey dinner with all the trimmings was preferable, while traditional British food came out as the cuisine of choice, followed by Italian, American then Mexican.
“Turkey is the meat of choice and I don’t think you’re ever going to get away from it unless there’s a big [turkey] scandal,” added Robb.
When choosing where to host a Christmas party, a free drink on arrival was a main deciding factor, the research added.
Premier Foods’ Making Christmas Easy report also gives 12 festive canapé recipes tailored to the research.
Dishes include panko breadcrumb covered goat cheese balls and pineapple; smoked salmon and beetroot blinis; and Italian skewers.
“For those planning Christmas parties, our guide offers unique recipes for chefs looking to add something a little different to their menus,” added Robb.
“Our latest guide provides inspiration on how to turn classic dishes into party favourites with a twist, such as Christmas pudding truffles, as 26% of consumers said they are looking for varied choice.
“We’ve also teamed up with a drinks expert to provide chefs and caterers with a selection of options that can accompany the dishes in the guide, which will be available on our website.”
Premier Foods’ food and drink pairings:
- Cheese and pineapple sticks: Veuve Cliquot Demi-Sec
- Chilli and lime battered prawns: Leitz Magdalenekreuz Riesling Kabinett
- Beetroot blinis with smoked salmon: Gekkeikan Daiginjo Sake
- Turkey and cheese croquettes: Gerard Thomas Saint-Aubin Cru
- Paxo pigs in blankets: Sheppy’s Dabinett Apple Cider
- Italian skewers: Tanqueray dirty martini
- Mini Yorkshire puddings: Liefmans Cuvee Brut Kriek Cherry Beer
- Custard cream truffle shots: Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro
- Chocolate meringues with Baileys: Islay cream shot
- Christmas pudding truffles: Taylors 10-Year-Old Tawny Port