Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Fried food not always bad for the heart, says Yahoo!

Sunflower oil
Yahoo Lifestyle writes: "Eating food which has been fried in olive or sunflower oil is not linked to heart disease or an earlier death, a new study has found.

"Although the findings debunk the myth that all fried food is bad for the heart, the researchers stressed that the study took place in Spain, where sunflower and olive oil are routinely used for frying, and the results would likely be different for other countries which use lard and other types of cooking oils.

"Frying is one of the most common methods of cooking in Western countries. Fried food is high in calories because the food absorbs the fat of the oils."

Read all about it by clicking here.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Hats off to Costa Coffee...for its lemon sponge cake

Costa Coffee - even better when they're inside a decent bookshop like Waterstone's

Just spent an enjoyable 30 minutes or so sitting in a Costa Coffee in the basement of a Waterstone's on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow and I must say, hats off to the guys at Costa for an excellent slice of lemon sponge cake - I loved every bit of it. Okay, perhaps it was a little bit on the large side, but there's something good about bookshops and coffee shops under one roof.

Books Etc used to have an integral coffee shop, but they're long gone. The Sauchiehall Street Waterstone's was huge and on many levels. I almost bought a book until I realised I was broke. Still, the tea and cake were very pleasant.

Books I considered buying were: Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridien; On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan; A Good School by Richard Yates. Being skint, I bought nothing and decided to console myself with a cup of tea and a piece of cake, which set me back £4.10!

I sat there reading Dave Gorman's latest book, which I'd brought with me. All good stuff, though.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Quick service restaurants account for half of all meals eaten out... says NPD

London: 15th January 2012 – It’s official: consumers in the UK have developed a growing appetite for fast (quick service) food. The latest data from independent foodservice research agency NPD Group shows that over half of all meals eaten out of the home are now bought from fast food restaurants. 
When it comes to visiting restaurants, NPD’s data reveals a trend of changing habits among British consumers. There has been a four percentage point increase in the use of quick service restaurants since 2008, with consumers making 5.5 billion visits to these outlets in 2011, compared to 5.4 billion in 2008. Lunch has also been an important factor in the growth of the quick service food business, accounting for almost three quarters (72%) of the sector’s growth and a 7% increase in the number of visits since 2008.

While quick service has been growing, the restaurants experiencing the greatest drop are those in the workplace and education - whose share of the market has shrunk by 2.6 percentage points - from 19.5% in 2008 to 16.9% in the year ending September 2011. NPD believes the decline in this sector is attributable to quick service restaurant chains offering menu options, promotions and discounts that attract workers and students away from their office/campus and into their restaurants.

Guy Fielding, NPD’s Director of Foodservice for Europe believes consumers in the capital are also a key influence in the growth of the quick service sector. “Consumers in London” he says “spent 7% more in restaurants this year and it is the quick service restaurants, serving burgers, ethnic dishes and chicken that have led that growth. It’s also about the quick service restaurants giving Londoners a good deal. Meal deals and promotions account for 27% of spend at commercial restaurants in London, but they accounted for 100% of the growth. Consumers in London may eat out more than in other areas of the country, but only when the deal is right.”

NPD’s research also shows that consumers in London are more likely (55%) to visit quick service restaurants, when compared to 49.5% for consumers in the rest of the country.