As a lover of good design, great graphs and food (though not in that order), I had to share with you this really fabulous graph from the London Times:
Looking at data from 1974 through 2007, they’ve charted consumption patterns for various fats, fruits, fish, meat, and vegetable products, offering insights on what foods used to be popular (liver, cabbages, lard), which are rising (bananas, salmon), and which seem to never decline despite being somewhat questionable, if not extremely British (canned beans in sauce). The bottom chart trends the selected product year over year, while the circle shows how proportionately these products fare compared to others in their category. In all of the research I’ve done over the years, I’ve never seen a chart this comprehensive, but it’s a powerful tool to show how palates, shopping habits, and health concerns have shaped the way they shop for over 30 years, as well as what’s available in the supermarket for them to purchase given the UK’s low food production output (at least when compared to the United States). My one quibble with it is that grains are not covered at all, and I’d love to know how various products in this category (pasta, breads, etc.) have fared compared to US consumption trends.
Needless to say, it’s a great graph, and I wish something similar could be made for the U.S.–it would make my work life easier, to be sure, but imagine how it could make everyone’s life easier: stores not only would carry more of what we want, but perhaps offer meal solutions/recipes/advice that resonates that much more with consumers than it does now.
What do you think–do you agree, or is this really not something that extraordinary?
(Image from TimesOnline.co.uk, via Eat Me Daily)