Saint or Sinner?

Saint or Sinner?

Saint or Sinner?

They're currently two of the biggest food trends in dining. "Clean eating", and unashamed, indulgent, sinful food. Sales of superfoods like kale, acai berries, seaweed, and chia seeds have skyrocketed in the past few years, while Instagram is filled with photos of Buddha bowls, juices, and rainbow salads.

At the other end of the spectrum, dirty burger restaurants and their like have seen success around the UK, and thick, creamy freakshakes made headlines earlier this year.

It's difficult to see how two such vastly different trends could find such popularity at the same time. However, our most recent research has revealed the most diners enjoy both, opting to switch between a saintly or sinful diet at certain times, days, and occasions.

Unsurprisingly, on special occasions the idea of dieting and saintly eating all but disappears, with diners wanting to celebrate and enjoy a more generous meal. Birthdays are the most popular occasion for sinful eating, with 97% of diners treating themselves, and 93% of diners following suite when on holiday.

This pattern of sinful food as a treat, rather than a regular occurrence, continues during the week, when diners largely agree that weekdays are for eating healthily (83%), and weekends are for more sinful food choices (91%).

Hospitality operators offering breakfast and lunch options would do well to stick to a saintly menu at these times of days, with 71% of breakfast guests and 77% of lunchtime ones opting for saintly, superfood packed meals. The tide turns for meals in the evening, however, as 79% of diners are more likely to eat sinfully then - reinforcing recent research from Coup de Pates that revealed 69% of diners would prefer a calorific dessert to a lighter starter.

Diners were more or less evenly split on how to eat after the gym, with 51% preferring to reward themselves for their efforts with something sinful, and 49% selecting not to undo their hard work and sticking to a saintly meal. Unsurprisingly, a healthy, saintly option is by far the most popular choice when it comes to eating prior to the workout.

It may look like two separate trends, but perhaps they are part of the same movement away from bland, unmemorable dishes - after all, who's going to place pictures of these on Instagram? To make the most of the opportunity though, restaurants and pubs might consider which end of the saint-sinner spectrum to target at different trading periods.

Saint _sinner Infographic

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