Brits' £46bn Chinese food and beer bill

chinese mealBrits spend a whopping £46bn on 3.6 billion Chinese meals each year.

And youngsters are the chopstick champions. On average, 25-34 yr olds are tucking into more than two Chinese meals at a total cost of £33 per week, or more than £1,700 per year. As many as 67% of these youngsters also opt for a Chinese beer to complement the food.

Chinese takeaway

The research also reveals that 29% of the British population are eating fewer roast dinners and opting instead for ethnic foods on a Sunday. It is 18-24 year olds in particular (34%) shunning traditional Sunday favourites such as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding in favour of ethnic meals such as Chinese stir-fries.

It seems the younger we are, the more adventurous our palettes, with twice as many 18-24 year olds enjoying ethnic foods – and using chopsticks – as over 55s.

The research is to mark the launch of fifth annual Legacy of Taste competition, which aims to protect the heritage of Chinese cuisine in the UK by highlighting the best and most authentic restaurants. The competition is sponsored by Chinese beer Tsingtao.

Chinese puzzle

You can vote for your favourite at and you could win flights to China, courtesy of Cathay Pacific. The top three most voted for restaurants go through to the final. An expert panel of judges will select one winner at the Tsingtao Legacy of Taste final held at Grand Imperial restaurant in London on 31January 2013.

James Wright, lead judge, says: "Britain's younger palettes are certainly leading the way when it comes to eating ethnic food – a reflection of increased exposure to far flung holiday destinations and gap year travelling and also due to the UK having some of the finest Chinese restaurants outside China, such as last year's Tsingtao Legacy of Taste winner, Michelin-starred Kai Mayfair.

"Supermarkets are also stocking more and more authentic Chinese ingredients, which is one of the reasons why half of us are opting to cook our own Chinese meals at home."

Celebrity fans of Chinese food include Kate Winslet and Sarah Jessica Parker.


Tsingtao Beer (pronounced Ching Dow) was founded in Qingdao in China by German settlers in 1903 and is now China's number one beer export, accounting for more than half of the country's total overseas beer sales, and sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. Tsingtao is the fourth biggest beer brand in the world by volume.

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