The very English tradition of having biscuits with tea seems to be making way for more varied flavours in the United Kingdom, as a new survey found that many youngsters opt for more filling options such as samosas and granola bars as a tea accompaniment.
According to a survey of 1,000 people by the United Kingdom Tea & Infusions Association (UKTIA), granola bars are the tea snack of choice for one in ten 18 to 29-year-olds, more than double the proportion of over-65s.
In second place was samosa, with some eight per cent of youngsters surveyed opting for the savoury Indian snack with their tea – but no one over 65 did.
"I think granola bars are probably also quite filling, so maybe people are having that as a snack with their tea to fill them up,” Dr Sharon Hall, the chief executive of the UKTIA, told The Daily Telegraph newspaper.
"They may be looking for something a little bit more substantial. The same would apply to a samosa," she said.
Hall suggested younger people likely preferred “nutty or spicy flavours” as they evoked memories of dishes eaten on gap years while travelling around the world.
"One thing that we are interested to find out more about is maybe such food reminds them of recent travels they have taken and a cuppa with a samosa takes them back to that memory. We know from the data that a cuppa (tea) triggers many sorts of positive emotions, and that’s something that really cuts across all age groups,” she said.
A further study from the market research company Mintel shows that 16 to 24-year-olds are half as likely to enjoy a sweet biscuit with their tea as those over 55.
Mintel, which interviewed around 2,000 tea drinkers between August and October last year, warned that “future sales of sweet biscuits are at risk if the younger generation do not establish the hot drink with biscuits habit".
"Gen Z have little time for the old rules of three formal meals per day, and TikTok has introduced them to a melting point of culinary traditions. Snacks won't ruin the meal, they are the meal," Jonny Forsyth, director at the group's subsidiary Mintel Food and Drink, told the newspaper.