25 February 2022, 07:24 AM
  • For Ash Meneely, broadcast cameraman and founder of The Earth & Ocean Food Company, an online marketplace for artisan food and drink, the UK's produce is truly something to celebrate
The British Food Revolution is here: why savvy foodies are buying artisan food and drink from online marketplaces

British food has had a bad wrap over the last few years… the impression being that our cuisine is bland, tasteless and unimaginative, but nothing could be further from the truth! Online-only food and drink platforms bring together lots of producers from every corner of the UK, showcasing the heights that British food and drink has reached in recent years, rivalling the cuisine from anywhere else.

As a broadcast cameraman I have had the fortune to travel across the UK filming food television shows with celebrity chefs and seen the quality of food and drink products that are being produced here. Made by families who have either been doing so for several generations, or people who have given up their jobs do to what they love. Whatever the reason, all their products have one major thing in common… they are made with passion and the quality is staggeringly good.

From Orkney to Scilly, you really don’t have to look too far before you come across a small or independent food or drink business. What is interesting about each one and totally unique to them is their story. Every single one is different and has something special about it, whether this is a unique ingredient or a special person integral to the business - and that is the magic that makes their products special.

English sparkling wine is just one example that is turning heads in the wine world AND in our own homes, the sheer number of boutique vineyards that are now available is unbelievable and testament to that. We now make more cheese varieties than France (unbelievable right?), from butter to watercress, charcuterie, jams and chutneys, salt aged beef or beer made from excess bread, our artisan food is tastier than ever before, and there is lots of it.

Chefs play an integral part of food discovery too. Our wonderful chefs are now hugely passionate about using locally sourced and sustainable produce and are leading they way in helping us make informed food choices. So many chefs from across the world are now making the UK their home because of the food revolution that is happening here and they want to be apart of it. Us Brits are very well travelled and we like to eat delicious food at home, we now have very sophisticated and varied palates. The emergence of celebrity chefs over the last few decades has really opened our eyes to high quality food and drinks, and we now demand them at home too!

As we all know, there are things happening in the UK that are having negative repercussions for independent producers (Brexit/international trade deals with cheaper imports etc), so we what can we do to support them? Thankfully the answer is very simple: just keep doing what you already do, keep making brilliant artisan food and drinks - the last two years have forced customers to be more familiar and comfortable with shopping online - so embrace this, they will always want to come to a bricks and mortar store, it’s a better experience, but why not also offer the option of buying from an online artisan food and drink marketplace as well?

Apart from the aforementioned reasons, why are foodies shopping for speciality food and drinks on an online marketplaces?

There are a quite a few reasons:

We are so used to shopping online now, but really, what could be easier that sitting at home, or anywhere for that matter, and ordering some delicious goodies that will arrive at your door in the next few days? Nothing… it is just so easy. Finding food and drink producers - all in one place - is convenience at its best.

How would shoppers know that there is a malt vinegar producer in Orkney, pasta producer in Yorkshire or a sustainably sourced fishcake producer on the Isle of Wight? They wouldn’t unless they lived near them. Online marketplaces offer the ability to choose from a huge variety of Producers from right across the UK.

Buying from artisan producers guarantees that the quality is good. Producers live and breathe their product, so consumers are guaranteed to receive high-quality produce made with passion and love.

Sustainable and ethical
Ethically minded foodies are conscious about where their food comes from, so what better way than to buy it from source? Whether it’s a meat product or plant-based, Producers are listening to consumers and are now doing all they can to make their products more sustainable/low impact. It is good a selling point as more consumers demand to know the provenance of a product and the ethics of a business. Buying from British-based producers ensures a no air-miles, low food-miles, low impact product that can be traced directly to source with low environmental impact.

Special occasions
If making a delicious meal for friends or family, foodie often buy their products from an independent producer because they want quality and don’t mind spending more, also the experience of buying from an independent producer is far better as they truly appreciate and values their business! The quality is off the scale - it will taste better than anything bought from a supermarket - and will be small batch and traceable to source. They also understand that by doing so, they are supporting small businesses which will keep them around for longer and make them feel good about the transaction! The added bonuses are that they will also have a better tasting meal and furnish them with stories about Producers and their products that their guests will love!

Support the small guy. Online food and drink marketplaces give artisan producers a place to showcase their delicious goods to a much wider audience. Buying from these producers will help keep these high-quality, often multi-generation businesses going. What could be better than a country full to the brim of high-quality, ethical and environmentally friendly food and drink? They play such a vital role in the UK’s economy and buying from an online platform dedicated to celebrating these producers ensures that we can all enjoy superb quality food and drink as well as supporting local businesses at the same time. It’s a win win…

The chefs know it, the foodies know it, so get on board and don’t miss out. The Great British Food Revolution is here… if you weren’t convinced before, you should be now!