Colors: Green Color
Colors: Green Color

Online searches for cream teas and afternoon teas to be delivered have surged since the UK went into lockdown, search data has suggested.

Afternoon tea treats topped the list of most increased searches for "delivery" queries in the UK, analysis of data from Google Trends showed.

Other popular terms included TGI, Nando's, takeaways and cakes, as people looked for a "pick-me-up" treat.

People have also been trying to make sure Royal Mail delivered.

Claire Dinwiddy, from Brewood in Staffordshire, had a cream tea as a surprise treat for her 40th birthday after other celebrations had to be cancelled.

"It was really nice. We were meant to be away with all my family for a long weekend glamping, but obviously it's all not going ahead so my friends did it to cheer me up," she said.

"A cream tea is something I've never had before as a birthday gift and it's really lovely not having to make anything yourself.

"It was proper party food: cakes and sandwiches; the weather was lovely so we sat out in the garden with a parasol and drank champagne."

Kerry Real from Shropshire said her husband ordered a cream tea as a "nice pick-me-up" in the middle of home schooling, working from home and a new baby.

"We like to go to National Trust places, normally we'd have a cream tea while we're there," she said.

"It is one of those nice things we just miss, so we thought, why not do it at home?"
She said the treat was from an independent, Lily's Secret Vintage Pop-up Tearoom, and it felt good to support them.

"I think with lockdown, a lot of things are returning back to supporting local businesses; it's important, it helps them to survive as well."

One of those small business owners is Homemade by Victoria, run by Northamptonshire 23-year-old Victoria Austin.

The former young chef of the year said afternoon teas were now her bestsellers as people rang up and placed orders for friends and family nearby whom they were unable to visit.

She said the deliveries were helping make up for losses from cancelled catering for weddings and other events, and now instead of serving up teas on presentation china, it was now a simple box for hygienic delivery.

"I started doing a few boxes here and there just to see," she said. "They've always been quite popular but never as popular as this. I don't know why it is such a big thing but everyone's loving it."

Ocado has said that “more normal shopping habits are back” after there was a huge jump in demand amid the coronavirus lockdown.

Its customers are now purchasing fewer items that at the peak period of demand, with the balance between fresh and long-live food returning to normal.

The online grocer has made changes to increase the delivery slots available, including suspending the delivery of mineral water.

Its revenues in April were up more than 40% from a year earlier.

The retailer said: “At the beginning of the outbreak demand increase significantly, almost overnight”.

It limited the number of items on sale initially in order to stop customers from panic buying.

Ocado said that these limits have since been rolled back as the number of items that shoppers are putting in their baskets “appears to have passed its peak but remains high”.

Group chief executive, Tim Stein, said: “We are facing quite a difficult challenge as we scale feeding the nation”.

The supermarket has been criticized on social media as customers faced being one of thousands in a virtual queue who are placing food orders.

Stein added: “Ocado remains in a strong position and we should be grateful that our current challenges are around growth, expansion and increased demands”.

Students throughout the land are being urged to spend their summer holidays working on farms to help keep Britain fed during the coronavirus crisis.

At present, farmers are struggling after the lockdown led to a mass shortage of regularly used migrant workers.

Sixth-form, college and university students have been encouraged to help pick fruits and vegetables.

A “student land army” is now needed to bring in the harvest according to the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

80,000 seasonal workers are needed from the end of May to help bring in the UK harvest on farms right across the country.

Students are the primary target market this year - especially due to their six-week summer break.

Sarah Louise Fairburn, chair of the food board at Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “The food sector in Greater Lincolnshire employs up to 56,000 people produces a quarter of the country’s vegetables and is nationally important in keeping our nation fed.

“Because of the current travel restrictions put in place to combat the coronavirus, our farms are struggling to recruit the workers needed to bring in the harvest this year.

“Therefore, a student land army can have a significant impact on the national effort to overcome the pandemic emergency and will give students a chance to earn an income while they are not studying”.

One of the UK’s leading food companies, Premier Foods, have said that sales of Super Noodles and the instant potatoes, Smash, as well as Lloyd Grossman’s sauces have increased sharply a people are making effort to stock up their cupboard with relevant items as the coronavirus-due lockdown continues.

The brand’s owners have said that demands for its Cadbury and Mr Kipling home based kits were also up on sale figures.

Premier Food credited the “exceptional” demand last month to more meals being eating at home.

After the updates of the trading figures, share in the business jumped 17%.

According to consumer analysts, Kantar, in March the average UK household spent an extra £62.92 on supermarket goods, which is the equivalent of five days’ worth of groceries.

The leader of the Farmers Union (NFU) has warned that the UK could face a potato shortage following the failure to drench rivers had led to recent mass flooding.

NFU president Minnette Batters said that; “The water has been managed in a disgraceful way.

“Up to 50 per cent of this year’s crop is rotting in the ground because farmers have been unable to harvest”.

She added: “I have never seen so little winter planting in my working lifetime”.

With the UK entirely self-sufficient in fresh potatoes, a shortage can mean rises in costs and it disappearing in supermarkets.

Furthermore, a shortage of seeds for spring planting could mean that the shortage could last well into next year.

Added to flooding issues, cold weather and poor lighting in sourthern Europe is said to have created the ‘perfect storm’ of growing condititions.

Teachers’ unions in the UK have welcomed a government decision which declares that families who are eligible for FSM (Free School Meals) will be able to continue to receive financial support to buy food throughout the coming Easter holidays.

Ministers said that qualifying families could claim shopping vouchers of £15 a week – per child – during the term time.

Now, the scheme will be extended in England over the coming two-week holiday.

The unions said that the move would help to prevent children from going hungry, as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Over the weekend, Cabinet Office Minister, Michael Gove, confirmed that the vouchers would continue to be paid over the Easter holiday.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT

Union said he was pleased to see the government “taking action to support some of the most vulnerable children.

“We know that for many children, school lunch is often their only hot meal for the day and, in some cases, their only meal – full stop.

“The government is doing the right thing in stepping up and making sure that all children can continue to access the food they – in many cases, desperately – need”

Families are being issued with either an electronic voucher or gift card worth £15 to spend in M&S, Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose.