Currying flavour

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
November 24, 2010, 12:31 AM GMT+0

This week is 'National Curry Week', celebrating 200 years of Indian curry restaurants in the UK, as well as providing a sound excuse to indulge in a little of the spicy goodness.

And as curry is often said to have become part of British culinary culture, it’s no surprise that a YouGov SixthSense report has found that Brits are more likely to choose Indian food than sample French, Japanese, Spanish or Thai dishes when eating out.

Only English, Italian and Chinese offerings rank as more popular from a list of 13 styles.

  • 53% said English food, such as fish and chips, was their favourite or most commonly eaten food when dining out
  • 47% picked Italian
  • 42% chose Chinese
  • While Indian came a close fourth on 41%.

These percentages, dubbed the ‘big four’, represent more than double the next four on the list (Thai, 15%, Mexican, 12%, Spanish, 10%, French, 10%), leading the report to suggest that consumers plump for a ‘repertoire’ of favourites, including Indian, turning again and again to tried and tested tastes. The report posits that the recession, and the resultant hit to personal income, may go some way to explaining this foodie phenomenon; in other words, with less money to spare on eating out, diners are drawn to dishes they know and love rather than experimenting with less familiar fare.

And when it comes to eating in, Indian is up there with the favourites. In another YouGov SixthSense report on people’s home cooking habits, Indian comes in third place at 32%, beaten only by Italian on 54%, and English on 83%.