Social Trends

Gap-fill exercise

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Here the first gap is done for you as an example: The changes described in this report have been driven by large social trends that we have been tracking for many years.

Conclusions and implications for the future

The changes described in this report have been driven by large social tr that we have been tracking for many years. Understanding the way they will develop in the future offers the most reli way to predict how our eating habits will change. No doubt, other unpredictable fads and fashions will come and go. But, as we have made clear in this report, long-term changes in eating habits depend on the mutual rela between food and society. Social stru tell us about food, just as people's attitudes towards food tell us about what is happening in society.

At root, many of these trends are connected to the great rise in affluence since the fifties. As the recent 50 year ana from the ONS shows, this has had a direct effect on the economics of food consu: in 1957, food and non-alcoholic drinks accounted for one-third of the household budget; today, that figure has fallen to 15 per cent. The rise in affluence has not just made food prop cheaper; it has also wrought dramatic cultural changes that have, in turn, changed our eating habits. Aspirations have expanded and people's expectations of what counts as "the good life" have grown richer and more cult sophisticated. People have got used to making progress every year. The trajectory of this consumer revo means that even if food prices rise or personal in growth slows, we can expect these increasing aspirations to continue to drive change.

During the same per, social structures that used to determine people's lives have become much less rigid. The nuclear family is now just one opt among many. People have more options and are finding new ways to live together that do not depend upon what they "have" to do but, rather, upon what makes sense in their particular circ. We expect that this pro, in which old structures are broken down and connections are remade in new ways according to people's priorities, will continue in the years to come. Every year, society is becoming more and more comfortable with flexibility.

These two great forces lie behind the more specific so and cultural changes described in this report. Here we go through them in turn and consider how they may af food habits in the next five years.

Food Habits & Social Change Chapter 1: Routine & Occasion: Eating fast food to make time for slow food. March 2008, Future Foundation