Asian visitors find British food safe and of good quality

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: United kingdom, Food

A vast majority of Asian visitors to the UK believe that the food
is safe and is great to eat, according to a survey by the country's
food manufacturers.

About 90 per cent of about 4,000 Asian visitors to the UK believed the standard of food safety in the UK was good or excellent. About 88 per cent also found the quality of food available to be good or excellent.

"In fact, out of seven country choices - the UK, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, the USA and Australia - a third of respondents rated the UK as having the best quality food available," the Food From Britain, (FFB) survey found.

FFB is a market development consultancy for food and drink producers. The consultancy surveyed Asian visitors in a bid to illustrate the link between tourism and the British food and drink manufacturing industry.

Through a website competition, visitors' opinions regarding British cuisine were uncovered.

Findings showed that most Asian visitors who had a positive dining experience whilst in the UK continued to enjoy British-made food and drink goods at home.

When visiting Britain, about 70 per cent of those surveyed purchased food and drink souvenirs to bring back home. Nearly

About two-thirds of respondents visited a restaurant they had heard of or read about before arriving in Britain.

"One of the most promising findings to the regional food and drink industry is that nearly one-fifth of the respondents who visited from Asia travelled to specific locales just to sample food and drink specialities,"​ FFB stated.

Britain is still recognised for its more traditional menus - with 28 per cent of visitors having afternoon tea and 14 per cent eating fish and chips. The UK was voted the best country to visit on holiday, with France and Italy coming in second and third places respectively.

Adrian Bevan, an international product development manager for VisitBritain, an organisation that also participated in the survey, said Britain's reputation as a gastronomic destination is growing.

"The increasing perception of Britain as a 'foodie' nation, with celebrity chefs and the enhanced availability of quality produce, has certainly helped drive tourism outside the main cities,"​ he said. "We see a lot of interest in countryside bed and breakfasts and gastro-pub visits from the Asian market."

FFB is funded by industry and government. It works annually with 900 UK food and drink producers. FFB partnered with VisitBritain to undertake the survey in the spring of 2006. The survey was conducted to raise awareness of British foods to Asian consumers and to analyse purchasing behaviour.

A website featuring British produce available in Singapore and Thailand was created and in order to win a competition for a five-day visit to Britain, visitors answered a series of questions. Eighty-two percent of respondents were from Singapore and fourteen percent from Thailand, with an additional four percent from other Asian countries.

Related topics: Food safety

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