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Welshness matters: Research shows customers prefer Welsh food and drink

29 Jan 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 from Arwyn Watkins, president of the Culinary Association of Wales (CAW), an organisation representing chefs and butchers across Wales.

He highlights 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’,” Mr Watkins told the Welsh International Culinary Championships Awards Dinner at the International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales), Newport.

“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.”

Welsh Culinary Association National Chef of Wales Competition at the ICC Wales.
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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Mr Williams
Mr Williams
5 months ago

I always try to buy Welsh products where I can. We import so much food, which we could grow ourselves. I think we should invest more in Welsh grown food. WG why not invest in more greenhouses to grow things like cucumbers, lettuces, tomatoes, spring onions, peppers and other fruits and veg that could grow in them? I’m not an expert, so just a suggestion.

Last edited 5 months ago by Mr Williams
Dai Rob
Dai Rob
5 months ago

I try and avoid any food that’s got a Butchers Apron on it!!

5 months ago

Everyone should be buying as locally as possible.

5 months ago

I always try to buy local when the wallet allows, unfortunately certain realities creep in with regards brexit and costs. Try buying welsh lamb cheap. New Zealand lamb cheap is great and I wont leave a place because they practice the same as long as certain things are done. So. Eating out, when we can afford it, first is can we afford it, second is hygiene rating, then home made then local if possible, in that order. You don’t lose me as a customer because you used danish pork over welsh pork, you lose me cos the pie came out… Read more »

5 months ago

Think they’ve spun this into something it isn’t. It’s not because the food is Welsh it is because it is local. If Wales is local to you then that is why you buy food produced there. You ask people in Scotland if they would choose to buy Scottish produce over Welsh produce they would because it is more local and supports local business. Therefore people state a preference for what is local – this is not a Wales specific concept!

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