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The East of England saw the biggest regional increase in dessert takeaway orders and alcohol product sales during lockdown, a new study reveals.

The study, compiled by City Pantry and Just Eat, looks at how the nation’s takeaway habits have changed over lockdown, to reveal whether we’re eating healthier, drinking or eating more, and when in the week we’re most likely to indulge in a takeaway.

The research reveals that the East of England saw the largest spike in alcohol product sales at an increase of 7.7%, while dessert orders also increased by 141% - more than any other region in England.

While this increase could be attributed to a rise in at-home consumption due to Brits being unable to visit restaurants or pubs, it’s also likely due to more providers adding alcohol products and desserts to their takeaway menus than before the pandemic.

This has been instrumental in allowing dine-in restaurants to pivot their services to maintain revenue while restrictions were in place.

Meanwhile, orders of vegan, vegetarian and healthy takeaways rose by just 65%, which was far lower than the increase reported by other regions, and almost half of that seen in the North East (124%). Overall, desserts were the region’s preferred takeaway during lockdown.

Top ten takeaway order increases in the East of England by cuisine
However, looking at the all-time most popular cuisines in the region shows that the East of England favours kebabs, while Turkish cuisine and brunch is among the least preferred. Although dessert orders rose the most during lockdown, they’re usually the least favourite.

Each cuisine ranked in popularity in the region:

Tom Squire, Financial Director at City Pantry, commented, “As businesses and individuals continue to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and practice social distancing, it’s likely we will see further growth in delivered-in meals. As such, it’s important that we in the hospitality industry continue to work together to find solutions that are COVID-safe and adapt to meet the evolving needs of consumers.

“We’ve already seen hospitality businesses adapt and create new offerings during lockdown - from creating recipe boxes of their best-selling dishes to hampers that include treats and alcohol, all available for delivery to people’s homes. Convenience and variety have played a big role in this increased demand, with busy remote workers not able to spend sufficient time preparing all their meals from scratch every day.”

But it’s not just the East of England that saw a notable increase in dessert orders and alcohol sales. Sales of alcohol products increased by 36% across the UK, with Northern Ireland reporting the biggest rise at 9.3%.

(source: City Pantry, image: pexels)