The long-awaited Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend has finally arrived. And British food and drink brands have been making the most of the celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne.
From corgi cakes to coronation chicken crisps, there has been a wealth of innovation in the run-up to the festivities, set to culminate on Sunday with a pageant of Britishness featuring Alan Titchmarsh, Tony Blackburn and Torvill & Dean, to name but a few.
In some ways, it feels incongruous to celebrate as the country faces the worst cost of living crisis since records began (and the Queen first took the throne) in the 1950s. Indeed, those inflationary pressures are just one reason why Boris Johnson’s attempt to jump on the Jubilee bandwagon with a consultation on reinstating imperial measures didn’t go down well.
But while his much-maligned plan was slammed as an “utter nostalgic waste of time and effort” that would simply distract supermarkets from their efforts to tackle inflation, the Jubilee itself might just be the welcome distraction we all need. Not least because it could deliver a much-needed boost at the tills, according to Kantar.
When Britain celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee back in 2012, there was a 10% boost to supermarket sales in the week leading up to the festivities, Kantar figures show. Booze was one of the biggest winners, with beer sales up by 23% and sparkling wine sales more than doubling during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Barbecue foods and indulgent desserts are also expected to prove popular this year.
Of course, the squeeze on household finances means Brits might not splash their cash so freely this time. But whether they are planning on celebrating on the streets with bottles of Lamqueeni or simply enjoying the parade on TV with toast and Ma’amite, the country will no doubt rise to the occasion.
As Kantar says, “we should never underestimate the appetite for a party, especially a royal one”. Having (mostly) obeyed lockdown rules, Brits certainly deserve a right royal knees-up.