More than a third of diners (34%) now consider themselves “foodies” according to new research, which also showed a continued switch from traditional fast food to gourmet alternatives.

Data from Mintel showed the foodservice market reaching an estimated £36bn in 2015, rising nearly 3.5%. It also shows diners becoming more adventurous with 57% saying that they like to experience new flavours.

This was particularly seen in the burger and chicken market, where 7% of fast-food visitors say they have switched from fast food restaurants to gourmet burger restaurants. This helped grow spending in the overall chicken and burger bar market by 5% in 2015 to reach £4.7 billion.

The research shows that fruit juices and smoothies appear to have been hit by consumer concerns over sugar with the non-alcoholic drinks market seeing growth of just 1% in 2015. One in nine UK adults are buying fewer fruit juices or smoothies compared to six months before with 34% of those buying less/not buying because of concerns over sugar, compared to 24% who have done so to save money.

When it comes to alcoholic drinks sparkling wine continues to show impressive growth with volume sales up 14% in 2015 to reach 107 million litres (£1.3 billion). Craft labels are also continuing to boost sales of beer, with the beer market worth £16.7bn in 2015. Around 16% of Brits bought craft lager in the three months to November 2015, while 18% purchased a craft ale/bitter.

The research also shows a rise in home cooking with 18% of consumers saying they’ve increased their spending on in-home food over the past year. Three in 10 consumers are cooking at home from scratch more than they were a year ago, and sales of herbs, spices and seasonings grew by 3% in 2015 to reach £344m.

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