New research released today looks at the evolution of the Christmas dinner and how our festive food habits have changed over time. Turkey has been the most popular main course for our Christmas dinner since the start of the 19th century, however recent years have seen a surge in the popularity of alternatives to the traditional festive feast, with 42% of us expected to steer away from a turkey based Christmas meal and one in 10 of us set to go meat free on the big day this year.
The research commissioned by Whole Foods Market reveals millennials as the most likely to embrace this change and experiment with something new, with concerns about the environment (23%), health reasons (22%) and animal welfare concerns (19%) all reasons for our ever-changing dietary habits. The over 55’s are the age group least likely to want to try something new this year, with 82% opting to stick with the ‘traditional’ Christmas menu.
More than a quarter (28%) will be hosting someone with a dietary requirement this Christmas, with vegetarian (34%), gluten-free (26%) and vegan (20%) the most commonly catered for. As a result, almost one in five (17%) will be adding more vegetarian and plant-based options to their meal this year with many of us also set to include gluten-free, dairy-free and flexitarian options to their Christmas menu.
Aston spoke to Jo Pratt, TV chef and author and Shaun Coombes, spokesperson from Whole Foods Market to discuss the research in more detail and offer their advice on how to have an enjoyable ‘alternative’ Christmas meal this year.