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A Closer Look at the UK Takeaway Trends
9 Oct 2023
10-15 mins

A Closer Look at the UK Takeaway Trends

When it comes to takeaways, the Brits have an undeniable appetite for a variety of cuisines. However, the question remains: what cuisine tops the UK’s national dish or which regions prefer what types of cuisine? From Chinese delicacies to mouth-watering kebabs, the answer may surprise you. Delve into the heart of the nation's culinary tastes as we uncover the most favoured cuisine that holds the top spot in the UK's food scene. So, if you're looking for some new takeaway ideas or just want to stay up-to-date on current trends, then read on! And don't forget to opt for the Mealzo app or website to easily satisfy your cravings while enjoying tasty savings on your much loved cuisines!

Hottest trends in the UK takeaway market for 2023

The UK's takeaway food industry is thriving and online orders have become the norm. Traditional options have taken a backseat as international cuisines gradually dominate the top five choices. Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Italian and Greek food are leading the pack and each region has its own unique preferences and trends.

According to Google Trends, chart 1, the popularity of various cuisines has been on the rise across the UK in the last five years. Chinese cuisine delights tastebuds with its flavoursome dishes, securing the top spot as the nation's favourite takeaway choice. Indian cuisine, with its aromatic spices and rich flavours, claims a strong second place.

Italian cuisine, with its creamy pasta, fresh pizza and Mediterranean dishes, remains a perennial favourite among UK food enthusiasts, securing a solid spot in the top five. And let's not forget Greek cuisine, known for its fresh ingredients and healthy options, confidently ranking among the most preferred culinary traditions, capturing a special place in the hearts of UK foodies. The vibrant colours and bold flavours of Mexican cuisine take a well-deserved fifth place, adding a burst of excitement to the UK's culinary scene.

And fast food, ever popular, follows in the wake of Chinese cuisine's success. Among the fast food options, pizza comes next in line after Chinese cuisine, with a total of 16,900 Google searches each month.

It's important to note that these trends and statistics may vary across different regions of the UK. For example, in urban areas, there may be a greater preference for international cuisines, while smaller towns may have a stronger affinity for traditional British takeaways like fish and chips. Stay tuned as we dive into regional trends and discover the nation's most beloved takeaway options.

Regional variations in takeaway food preferences

After a long day at work or an empty fridge dilemma, nothing beats indulging in your beloved takeaway. We've dug deep into monthly Google searches to uncover the UK's top takeaway choices and the cities or regions that crave them the most.

Mealzo goes the extra mile in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK's restaurant and cafe industry. We understand the unique challenges faced by local takeaway and restaurant owners and strive to provide tailored support to help them thrive. By using Mealzo, an online food ordering platform dedicated to supporting SMEs, you not only enjoy the convenience of ordering food online but also play a vital role in bolstering the local economy, supporting job creation, fostering unique experiences, and reducing your carbon footprint. Together, let's champion and support SMEs for a stronger and more sustainable community.

But what exactly tickles the nation's tastebuds? The research results have unveiled a clear winner. Chinese food steals the crown as the nation's all-time favourite takeaway cuisine, with 45% of all takeaway searches dedicated to its deliciousness.

The love for takeaways doesn't stop there. Let's take a closer look at the ever-changing landscape of the UK takeaway trends. In Northern Ireland and Wales, Chinese cuisine reigns supreme, captivating the locals with its deep-fried sweet and sour pork balls, succulent crispy duck pancakes, flavourful egg fried rice, tantalising prawns in black bean sauce and mouthwatering stir-fried chow mein noodles. Indian cuisine also holds a special place in the hearts of the people here, although it doesn't quite surpass the popularity of Chinese or fast food options.

Scotland and England as a whole embrace a wide range of international cuisines. Italian pizza, pasta and lasagne have become staples in the UK's takeaway scene, satisfying cravings for comforting and cheesy delights. Mexican tacos and quesadillas bring a burst of flavour and spice to the table, while Greek gyros and moussaka offer a taste of the Mediterranean. And of course, Indian curries in all their creamy and spicy glory have captured the hearts and palates of people across both countries, from mild and creamy korma to fiery vindaloo.

But the passion for takeaways knows no bounds, reaching beyond these areas and into cities all across the country. Edinburgh, the vibrant capital of Scotland, proudly claims the title of the city that adores takeaways the most. With residents Googling takeaways 6,000+ times each month, it's clear that Edinburgh's appetite for indulgence knows no limits. Not far behind, Bristolians also share a deep affection for takeaways, securing a close second place. And let's not overlook the undeniable passion of Newcastle upon Tyne, which follows closely in third place.

It seems that Englanders and Welshmen have a soft spot for Indian and Greek cuisine. Mouthwatering dishes such as butter chicken and tikka masala from India, as well as tzatziki and souvlaki from Greece, are enjoyed by many in both countries.

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland and Scotland, fast food still holds its sizzling appeal. However, health concerns have sparked a shift towards healthier choices. People are now embracing vegetarian or vegan options as tasty alternatives that not only satisfy their cravings but also support their well-being.

It's clear that tastes vary greatly throughout the UK when it comes to takeaway foods. Whether you're in Edinburgh, Bristol, Newcastle, Glasgow or any other city in the UK, Mealzo is here to bring you a delightful takeaway experience at unbeatable prices – so why not mix things up every once in a while? To make ordering your favourite meal easier than ever before why not try out Mealzo now where you can place an order online to enjoy the best local deals around?

Chinese takeaway: a UK sensation!

With the UK's first Chinese restaurant opening its doors in 1908, Brits have been savouring the flavours of Chinese delicacies for well over a century. And our love for it has only grown stronger since then. In fact, our research has revealed that Chinese food is the absolute top favourite takeaway cuisine in the UK, with a whopping 41% of all monthly Google searches for takeaways dedicated to finding Chinese restaurants.

But that's not all. Recent statistics have shown that our obsession with Chinese food has reached new heights. In 2016 alone, an estimated £4.5 billion was spent on satisfying our cravings for Chinese grub. This insatiable appetite has transformed Chinese cuisine into a true sensation across the nation. According to a survey conducted by Statista in 2017, Chinese food was the top choice among UK consumers, with 35% of respondents declaring it as their favourite. As shown in chart 2, in 2021, Chinese cuisine continued to reign top, with 25% of respondents choosing it as their best bet for takeaway, closely followed by Indian cuisine at 24%, while fish and chips claimed the third spot.

It's quite remarkable how Chinese food has seamlessly woven itself into the fabric of the British diet, surpassing even the long-standing traditional British favourite of fish and chips. Nowadays, you can find Chinese restaurants popping up in nearly every city and town, each one offering a tantalising variety of dishes that span from the classic chop suey to unique regional specialities.

So, what makes Chinese cuisine so widely loved? Well, there are a few factors that contribute to its immense popularity. Chinese food has become synonymous with convenience. Ordering Chinese takeaways online has become a breeze, with most restaurants offering hassle-free delivery services. This makes it a go-to option for those seeking a quick and easy meal.

Affordability is another key factor that has endeared Chinese cuisine to the masses. Compared to other culinary choices, Chinese food tends to be more budget-friendly, making it an attractive option for those looking to satisfy their cravings without breaking the bank.

But it's not just about convenience and affordability. Chinese cuisine's appeal lies in its diverse range of flavours that cater to all palates. Whether you're a fan of bold and spicy dishes or prefer something milder and more subtle, there's always something to tickle your taste buds in Chinese cuisine. From stir-fries and noodle dishes to rice dishes, dumplings, and soul-warming soups, the variety seems endless. This means there's always something new to explore, even if you have your usual favourites.

Moreover, many Chinese restaurants place a strong emphasis on using fresh ingredients, making their food a healthier option compared to other fast-food choices. This commitment to quality and freshness adds an extra layer of appeal to Chinese cuisine, making it a popular choice for those seeking a satisfying and wholesome meal.

In addition to the factors mentioned earlier, the growing popularity of Chinese culture in the UK has also played a significant role in the widespread appreciation of Chinese cuisine. The presence of Chinese immigrants has introduced British people to the authentic delights of Chinese culinary traditions. Elements such as dim sum and tea ceremonies have been wholeheartedly embraced by Brits, further fueling the current popularity of Chinese takeaway in the UK—now more than ever!

So, when you find yourself craving a delectable and fulfilling meal, why not join in the UK's love affair with Chinese cuisine and order a flavoursome Chinese takeaway near you through Mealzo?

Indian and Greek Food; England and Wales' Fav Grub!

It's clear that there are regional variations when it comes to takeaway preferences in the UK. However, there are two cuisines that have totally won over the hearts and tastebuds of people across England and Wales - Indian and Greek food. These culinary delights continue to be hugely popular, offering a diverse range of flavours and dishes that leave taste buds craving for more.

With Indian dishes proving to be the second most ordered takeaway in each region, it’s no surprise that these delicious flavours are becoming commonplace on British dinner tables. After all, who can resist aromatic curries, succulent tandoori dishes, or mouthwatering biryanis from the Indian subcontinent?

But wait, there's more! Greek food has also witnessed a surge in popularity, with mouthwatering gyros, souvlaki, and heavenly moussaka now readily available at top-notch restaurants and takeaways on Mealzo. And for those seeking a unique twist, North Wales boasts some of the best kebab shops around, offering late-night opening hours and customisable toppings like cheese or fiery chili sauce.

Now, brace yourself for the nation's ultimate takeaway choice - Chinese food! In 2016 alone, an amazingly £4.5 billion was spent on this irresistible cuisine. But don't fret, Italian dishes are not far behind, with classic pasta recipes like carbonara and lasagne winning the hearts of diners throughout Britain. And let's not forget the Mexican burritos, with their convenient size and flavourful fillings of meat or vegetables, they have become a huge hit among food enthusiasts.

So, why not give your taste buds a proper treat today and set off on a culinary escape with Mealzo? Dive into the heady flavours of Indian, Greek, or any other cuisine that tickles your fancy now!

Fast food is sizzling in Northern Ireland and Scotland!

In recent years, fast food has seen a remarkable surge in popularity. In Northern Ireland and Scotland, fast food is not just a convenient option but a culinary trend that is rapidly gaining popularity. In fact, after Chinese food, fast food is the most sought-after cuisine in these regions, accounting for a staggering 36% of Google searches.

People in Northern Ireland in particular have been spending the most on takeaway meals. From mouthwatering fish and chips to scrumptious pizza, juicy burgers, and crispy chicken, these dishes have become staples of the local cuisine.

Recent data from Statista reveals a fascinating trend in the United Kingdom's culinary landscape. Chart 3 clearly depicts a remarkable surge in the number of takeaway and fast food restaurants over the past decade. As of 2023, the country boasts an impressive total of over 48,209 establishments in this sector - a 2.9% increase from the previous year, it's clear that fast food is thriving.

Actually, fast food has become an integral part of the UK's thrilling food scene, offering a convenient and quick dining option for busy families and individuals on the go. Whether you're out shopping or running errands, you can easily grab a bite from your favourite fast food spot without the need to wait for a table or even leave the comfort of your home. All you need to do is get the Mealzo app to easily browse through diverse menus and enjoy your favourite bites at discounted prices. Moreover, many of these restaurants offer delivery services, making it even more convenient to indulge in your cravings!

The popularity of fast food extends beyond mere convenience. It has captured the tastes of younger generations, who crave affordable yet delicious meals after a long day at school or work. And here's some exciting news for college students! Mealzo has introduced an innovative Local College Partnering Scheme, offering exclusive discounts and promotions during freshmen's week at colleges like Clyde, Dundee, Ayrshire and many others. So, not only can you savour a mouthwatering and convenient meal, but you can also save some money while doing so. It's a win-win situation for all fast food enthusiasts!

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