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VisitBritain report

The world wants to eat a full English breakfast

Britain has scored a decisive triumph in the battle for culinary supremacy, at least in the morning. The world wants to eat a Full English Breakfast, a VisitBritain report reveals.
The traditional plateful comprising scrambled eggs, sausage, black pudding, bacon, and perhaps mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and fried bread is astonishingly popular worldwide. Researchers polled 26,000 would-be travellers in a range of countries and asked them to mark out of seven…


Britain
has scored a decisive triumph in the battle for culinary supremacy, at least in the morning. The world wants to eat a Full English Breakfast, a VisitBritain report reveals.

The traditional plateful comprising scrambled eggs, sausage, black pudding, bacon, and perhaps mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and fried bread is astonishingly popular worldwide.

Researchers polled 26,000 would-be travellers in a range of countries and asked them to mark out of seven how much they agreed with the statement ‘’I’ve always wanted to try a Full English Breakfast.

Only the Irish and Germans gave the meal less than 4 ( the line that signifies ‘neither agree nor disagree’) – suggesting that for many potential visitors to Britain trying a ‘full English breakfast’ is very definitely on their agenda. Among those keenest to sample a full English breakfast are potential visitors from Russia, Brazil and India. The results appear in the following chart:

This news comes at a time when British people are becoming increasingly perplexed at the views expressed by some international critics of this country’s food. Many sceptics claim British food is like our footballers. They say: It’s solid, with its heart in the right place but perpetually underperforming.

The reality is totally different. For example, more Michelin stars were handed to UK restaurants in 2010 than at any other time in the 35 year history of the gastronomic award. Food guru Egon Ronay caused French outrage by suggesting that British gastropubs were possibly better than French bistros. British chefs Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay are known globally.

Alain Ducasse, France’s most famous chef whose restaurant at London’s Dorchester Hotel has won the ultimate prize, three Michelin stars, is a champion of British food. ‘’There has been a revolution in London in the last 10 years,” he says. ‘I’m really sorry some still look down on British cuisine,” he sighs. “You have wonderful game, lamb and fish with your cold seas.’’

We asked people from different nations to say (by ranking out of seven) whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement: "British food is very bad."

Those who disagree that our food is very bad include several countries that send a lot of tourists to the UK including: The USA which is the origin of the third largest group of tourists that come to the UK each year (2.9 million visitors), and Ireland, the second-largest (2.8 million) and Australia, the ninth-biggest source of overseas visitors to the UK ( 0.9 million). However, people in nine countries tended to agree with the statement that British food is very bad (ranking the issue above ‘’4’’ on the scale).

They were France, which is the largest source of tourism to the UK tourism league table, sending 3.8 million to Britain in 2009, the fourth-largest, Germany, responsible for 2.8 million visitors and then in descending order Spain, Italy, Poland and Belgium.

The paradox is that this indicates that either Britain’s other attractions vastly outweigh any reservations about food – or in fact they like what they find on their plate when they get here.

So how big a barrier is the perception – rather than the reality – of our food to tourists coming to Britain?

VisitBritain research in Austria and Switzerland asked potential visitors about factors that might prevent them from visiting. Only 7% of respondents identified ‘Food and restaurants are not very good’ as a main reason for not visiting Britain. However a further 24% chose it as one of the secondary reasons for not visiting. Overall just 31% of respondents expressed negative sentiments regarding the food offer in Britain, making it the third most important ‘barrier’ behind ‘Cost of being there’ and ‘The weather’ (identified as a barrier by 41% of respondents as either a main or secondary reason for not visiting Britain).

People who had not actually visited Britain were fractionally more likely to identify food as a barrier than those who had been here.

Foreign tourists are also intrigued by the prospect of sampling our diverse range of regional foods such as Lancashire hot pot, haggis, pastie, Bakewell tart, sticky toffee pudding and Stilton Cheese. South Africans, New Zealanders and Canadians are among those who rate the prospect of trying local or regional food and drink most enthusiastically.

Sandie Dawe, Chief Executive, VisitBritain said: “Trying local food is a great way for visitors to experience British culture. Our research shows that, whether it’s haggis, pasty, Bakewell tart, sticky toffee pudding, Lancashire hot pot or bara brith, sampling our goodies is an essential – and enjoyable – part of a visit to Britain.

"Britain now has some of the world’s most celebrated restaurants and our pubs and cafes now offer some of the best regional specialities and locally-sourced grub across the whole of the country. Pubs can be a really welcoming leveler because they give tourists a chance to feel a part of authentic British life and to join in.”

Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website | + Posts

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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