A new report from MINTEL finds the great British banger is back in vogue, but this time the simple sausage has gone all posh. This year Britain will chomp through an estimated 189,000 tonnes of these meaty morsels, a hearty 17% increase since 2000. This means that the average British adult is likely to pig out on a staggering 4kg of sausages or the equivalent of over 140 chipolatas this year alone. But it is the impressive 23% increase in market value over the same five year period that points to the rise and rise of the premium porker, with 2005 value sales forecast to reach over half a billion (?530 million).
"Although not an obvious food to have benefited from an increasingly prosperous UK population, sausages have seen a notable shift towards more premium positioning. Indeed, manufacturers today are reinventing sausages as posh nosh with quality-led production, after the association with mechanically recovered meat and cheap fillers tarnished the perception of this humble British staple," comments David Bird, consumer analyst at MINTEL.
Interestingly, up-market sausages are not only being made from variations on traditional recipes like pork and apple or pork and leek, they have also taken their cue from the rise in the popularity of ethnic cuisine, such as red Thai and lemongrass sausages or more adventurous combinations, such as duck and orange.
This move towards the more sophisticated sausage has propelled once basic British staples such as bangers and mash and toad in the hole to new culinary heights. Indeed, these dishes now take pride of place at many a well to do dinner party and feature on the menus of the very finest London restaurants including the Ivy. Sausages are now even in with the celebrity set, with Kate Winslet having served bangers and mash at her wedding do.
Although many bangers may have taken on a more exotic guise, two in five (43%) adults always try to buy British sausages and bacon where possible and so it is unlikely that this old favourite will ever lose it's true Britishness.
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