[lead]Monday 7th October sees the beginning of Curry Week across Britain[/lead]
If there’s one thing us Britons can’t get enough of, it’s a good curry. Some like it spicy, some like it mild – either way, the curry has become a staple dish across Britain and you don’t have to travel to a curry house to get one. In recognition of this popular cuisine, Britain celebrate Curry Week every October, and have done for the past 21 years!
The week itself honours many aspects of the great dish and also has an impact on sectors such as hospitality and of course, retail. We thought we’d delve into the history of curry in Britain, as well as Curry week itself and its impact on the nation.
A Little History
What many don’t realise, is the distance British curry is from those found in India. It’s a whole new taste sensation that was inspired by dishes found in the depths of Indian cities; adapted for the tastebuds of Britain. Our love for curry brings a whopping £5bn to the British economy and can be easily found on most pub menus.
The first mention of ‘curry’ appeared in a cookbook from the mid-1700s. Many of the spices and recipes came to Britain through the East India Company, and the first-ever Indian restaurant was opened by one of its ex- trainee surgeons. It brought a unique spice and flavour to the traditionally bland foods of Britain, and with the increasing variations of spices being shipped into the country, the people of Britain became more and more adventurous with their food.
As curry transferred from exclusive restaurants to the take-aways of Britain just after the second world war, our love of curry spread and just got more intense over time. There are now more Indian restaurants in London than in New Dehli and Mumbai combined. Hence why Peter Groves created Curry Week in 1998!
National Curry Week 7th-13th October
National Curry Week takes place in October every year and is a favourite amongst those in retail and hospitality. Peter Groves introduced the week to not only celebrate the dishes that Britain have grown to love but to admire the diversity and culture amongst Britain today and most importantly to raise money and awareness for poverty-focused charities and local, independent Indian restaurants.
With such a popular event taking place across the country, it’s not surprising that the hospitality and retail sector get in on all the action. All this talk about our favourite curries is with a doubt going to get bellies rumbling and mouths watering. This means not only our favourite restaurants but shops and grocers take advantage of this time of potential increased spending.
Many restaurants will focus their advertising on their own curry dishes as well as new and exclusive additions. As we’ve seen in many other big events, exclusivity is key when it comes to attracting customers.
The same can be said for the grocery sector. Around this time, we will begin to see exclusive promotional products from not only brands already firmly in the Curry business, but from grocers themselves.
During 2018’s curry week, we saw Asda release an exclusive Chicken Vindaloo Pizza in order to attract those joining in with the celebrations.
Curry brand Patak’s released a helpful article for Curry Week 2018, displaying some of their favourite recipes to get people cooking and trying new dishes. This not only drew attention to their brand but helped appeal to a large audience of potential consumers.
The Nation’s Favourites
We combed the internet to find an idea of what Britain’s favourite curries are. We started to see a good pattern and thought that Just Eat’s latest poll summed it up pretty well. According to their findings, Britain’s top three curries are:
3. Rogan Josh
An Indian dish with Persian roots, this tomato-based aromatic curry is probably favoured thanks to its rich flavour and medium spice. The dish itself is packed with spices and usually served with goat or lamb.
2. Tikka Masala
A dish of mixed origin, Tikka Masala is famous for being born in Scotland. With that said, it is the Tikka part of the dish that originally derives from India; the Masala portion being added to suit the British palette. The dish is most likely favoured due to its slight spice and sweet, creamy sauce which is usually served with chicken.
The creamy Korma is currently the nations favourite dish. The curry we know and love happens to be quite far from the original Indian dish, however, the creamy and yoghurty base still stands. Usually served with chicken, this is probably favoured amongst the masses thanks to its creaminess, which makes up for its lack of spice – perfect for any curry lover.
What Tactical Can Do
We are well known for effectively using field data analytics to help our clients reap all the benefits from events such as this one. Using our bespoke systems such as Reapp, as well as our in-store teams, we can ensure that your products are performing as they should during busy events. We can make sure products are available, visible & compliant for your in-store promotions, even implementing event-specific marketing to further ensure success.