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Welshness matters: Research shows customers prefer Welsh food and drink

12 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Welsh food and drink

Hospitality businesses across Wales are losing sales and customers if they don’t use Welsh food and drink products on their menu.

That’s the wake-up call that has come from Arwyn Watkins, president of the Culinary Association of Wales (CAW), an organisation representing chefs and butchers across Wales.

He has highlighted market research undertaken by the Welsh Government Food and Drink Insight Programme, which has been exploring the attitudes of customers towards Welshness since 2017.

“The pivotal question asked is: Does Welshness matter? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’,” said Mr Watkins.

“Latest research for 2023 speaks volumes about the value of our heritage in every dish we serve. The preference for dishes made with Welsh ingredients rose from eight in 10 in 2017 to an astounding nine in 10 last year.

“This is not just a trend; it’s a call for authenticity and quality that only Welsh ingredients can provide. However, a concerning gap has emerged – only two thirds of businesses recognise the significance of offering Welsh food and drink.

“This disconnect between what businesses think their guests want and what they actually want is a wake-up call. We must bridge this gap, for Welsh food and drink is far more important than many businesses realise.”

Arwyn Watkins.
Picture by Phil Blagg Photography

He added: “More than half our guests would like more local or Welsh items on the menu and four in 10 would willingly pay a premium for dishes with Welsh ingredients. This isn’t just an opportunity; it’s a golden ticket for us to showcase our Welsh produce whilst maximising our revenues.”

Larder Cymru

The research also revealed that six in 10 visitors were more likely to visit a venue with Welsh products on the menu, with a quarter admitting that an absence of these options was a deterrent. Nine in 10 believed that venues should promote their use of Welsh food and drink.

“This is a stark reminder that we’re not embracing Welshness and we’re not just missing an opportunity, we’re losing customers,” he stressed.

“Welshness matters. It’s not just a badge of identity, it’s a powerful catalyst for sales and profit. Let us be proud of our heritage, embrace Welshness in our culinary creations and proudly promote this in every dish we serve.

“In doing so, we not only pay homage to our rich culture, but also pave the way for a thriving, prosperous future in the Welsh culinary scene.”

You can view the research results HERE


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Nia James
Nia James
1 month ago

If we could get every adult to commit to spend £10 per week on Welsh goods – be they Welsh cakes, lamb, beer, or whatever – that would amount to a £1billion per annum guarantee for our indigenous economy. This should be very high on the Welsh Government’s ‘to do’ list, but have they even thought about it?

Another Richard
Another Richard
1 month ago

It’s not entirely clear from the link but I take it that these results are based on responses to an opinion survey. What people say in response to surveys and how they actually spend their money are two very different things. Except in the top tier of restaurants I have never seen specifically Welsh dishes and ingredients advertised. It’s not always easy to source Welsh products and ingredients even when one wants to. Maybe there is significant unsatisfied demand for them, and if so the shops that satisfy it will presumably do well. Incidentally has anyone ever seen a Welsh-language… Read more »

Alun
Alun
1 month ago

“Incidentally has anyone ever seen a Welsh-language menu in a restaurant?”

Many times, although not enough

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
1 month ago

Supermarkets are full of Welsh sourced options and wholesale distribution companies such as Harlech and Castell Howard supply lots of Welsh sourced products to businesses, so it’s always relatively easy to find such products should venues choose to use Welsh sourced ingredients. There really is no excuse. Even discount retailers such as Aldi stock Welsh sourced products and market them distinctively. In my nearest branch in Cardiff, most potatoes seem to be Welsh sourced, and many in season vegetables too. Welsh produced meat also features prominently. Welsh butter and milk are standard items of stock as is Welsh cheese, and… Read more »

Another Richard
Another Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

I agree that some Welsh produce such as butter and milk is easy to find. Welsh farmhouse cheese is easier to find in London than in Llanelli, though. I do not recall my local eating places – apart from the fondly remembered Sosban – making a point of offering local produce but perhaps I should pay closer attention. (Checking online I see that one offers Welsh lamb cutlets.) The emphasis tends to be on price and quantity rather than quality or provenance, which perhaps reflects customers’ priorities – an observation not a criticism.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
1 month ago

Having at times been in straightened economic circumstances I understand that certain luxuries of choice have to take a back seat, especially as I am a proponent of heating AND eating wherever possible. Fortunately Aldi seems to stock Welsh products as standard in many instances, at no price disadvantage.

paul thomas
paul thomas
1 month ago

I have stopped shopping at Morrisons Neath. A couple of months ago they erected big signs at the store front ‘Love Welsh Produce’. Since then, they have ceased selling Welsh Potatoes, Welsh Lamb and Welsh Eggs!!! Please Boycott Morrisons Shop Elsewhere.

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