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Brits Blitz Jam and Chutney making as Downton Abbey effect strikes

War time spirit seen in series reflects Blitz spirit of shoppers going back to basics

As the nation bid a fond farewell to Downton Abbey on Sunday night, Asda reports home-grown jam and chutney making has been on the rise since the show first hit screens in September, as Brits replicate the frugal living of the first world war era with bottling and pickling home grown goodies.

A survey by Asda’s Pulse of the Nation shows that one in eight Brits (12%) have become first time jam or chutney makers since the second series of Downton hit our TV screens this autumn. Shoppers say the key motivation for the trend has been that they want to stock up store cupboards for the long winter months ahead (54%), followed by trying to save a few pennies by making Christmas gifts rather than buying them (29%) with 17% admitting they’ve wanted to embrace more of frugal lifestyle, as inspired by Downton Abbey.

Asda has seen the following ingredients snapped up since Downton Abbey returned to our TV screens in September:

  • Malt vinegar and sultanas, two essentials for chutney making, have seen sales shoot up by a massive 223% and 167% respectively

  • Bramley apples, the base for most chutneys, have also risen by 102%, alongside muscovado sugar at 97%

  • Fruits traditionally used in jam making which normally see sales tail off as the weather turns colder are bucking the trend this year; raspberries are up by 17% on this time last year, peaches by 13% and oranges by 11%

An Asda spokesperson said: "In the midst of Downton bringing rations back into fashion, Brits have gone pickling mad for all things in jars! From delicious fruity jam to apple chutneys, preserves are big news as Brits in the 21st century experience a similar feeling of belt tightening to that experienced during the First World War

“we’re calling it the return of the Blitz spirit! For those finding themselves in a bit of a pickle in terms of lack of money or time to get to the shops, canning and bottling is an ideal way to feed the whole family whilst on a budget”

Posted in Press Centre on 15 November 2011