The holiday season is upon us, and visions of succulent roast turkey, crispy roast potatoes, and festive delights dance in our heads. But hold on to your Christmas crackers, because there's a surprising twist making its way to the dining table this winter – the rise of the beloved "picky bits."
Picky bits, those delectable morsels often associated with lazy summer afternoons, are now demanding a seat at the Christmas feast. According to a study by Sainsbury's and Just Eat, a whopping 77 percent of 2,000 interviewed adults are eager to see a picky bits extravaganza become part of their festive traditions. It's a culinary revolution that's turning traditional holiday meals upside down.
But what exactly are picky bits? Think pasta salad, savory quiches, pizza slices, chicken wings, crisps, and dips – a delightful mishmash of flavors that typically grace British tables during warmer months. Now, these cheeky little bites are eyeing a spot on the Christmas menu.
The trend of embracing unconventional meals gained momentum earlier this year with the introduction of the 'girl dinner' concept on TikTok. Originating in May, the trend saw users sharing their go-to meals, often featuring combinations that fall under the picky bits umbrella. From strawberries paired with salami to guacamole and chips with a side of chocolate fingers, 'girl dinner' elevated the status of these whimsical bites.
Social media, as always, played a significant role, with 44 percent of respondents admitting to being easily influenced by what they see online. Now, as Christmas approaches, picky bits are vying for a permanent place at the holiday table, challenging the traditional festive spread.
According to the study, 59 percent of participants would prefer a 'picky tea' over the customary unwrapping of presents on Christmas day. Moreover, 22 percent would rather indulge in their favorite picky bits than attend a party. It seems the allure of pigs in blankets, cheese, crisps, sausages, mince pies, and other picky delights is impossible to resist.
The top 10 picky bits items, as revealed by the study, include favorites like pigs 'n blankets, cheese, crisps, sausages, mince pies, crispy chicken tenders, mini quiche, chocolate, charcuterie/cured meats, and spring rolls.
However, not everyone is onboard with this unconventional culinary twist. The mere suggestion of picky bits becoming a Christmas tradition reportedly led to one in 10 hangry Brits storming off in a huff over the topic. As the saying goes, you can't please everyone all the time.
In response to the growing picky bits phenomenon, Just Eat and Sainsbury’s have taken a bold step by trialing the first-ever Christmas Picky Bits delivery store in London. The Pick and MiXmas campaign allows food enthusiasts to build their own picky meal from a curated selection of veggie, vegan, meat, and sweet options. It's a unique way to cater to the evolving tastes and preferences of consumers during the festive season.
While the picky bits revolution is in full swing, let's not forget that preparing for Christmas can be a costly affair. Fear not, savvy shoppers, for there are tricks and hacks to save those hard-earned pennies.
One tip is to keep an eye out for handwritten codes on items, rumored to be secret messages indicating markdowns. Items with prices ending in 7, 8, 4, or 1 might soon go into clearance, according to insiders. At Tesco, deciphering the month code on products can reveal when they're about to expire, providing an opportunity for discounted purchases.
Retail giants like Home Bargains and Tesco use color-coded stickers to communicate different messages. A red star sticker at Home Bargains signifies that more stock is on the way, while at Tesco, it indicates a popular item that won't be on the shelves for long.
Savvy shoppers are also encouraged to explore the world of online shopping, where deals and discounts may be more abundant. Additionally, paying attention to product codes can reveal whether a designer item is genuine or if it's been brought out for pre-Christmas sales.
For those who enjoy the thrill of a good deal, exploring the returns section in a store can lead to discounted products. It's a win-win for both shoppers and retailers.
As the holiday season unfolds, it's clear that the picky bits trend is here to stay, challenging traditional Christmas norms. Whether you're a staunch supporter or a skeptic, there's no denying that this festive season is shaping up to be a celebration of culinary diversity and budget-friendly shopping hacks. So, what are you waiting for? Embrace the picky bits revolution and savor the joy of a uniquely delicious Christmas feast.