Friday, January 4, 2019

Hits and bits of 2018

The scores are on the doors, the results are in.
What did we Brits spend our money on in 2018?

It was a year of royal weddings, World Cup football, Brexit, the beast from the East, Brexit and a heat wave. We still went out and spent our money.

168 000 folk started January 2018 as a vegan. Now it’s a proper thing and it’s everywhere. This year  200% more people will kick off the year eating a plant based whole grain diet.
                                                                Jackfruit. Seemingly.
It’s a lifestyle choice worth £1/2mill to £3 million to big business so all the supermarkets and restaurant chains are seeing it as a cash cow. Shame that it’s cool and that the Millennials and the hipsters think it’s trendy and that drags it into the area of consumerism. A vegan diet is unbelievably healthy and cheap. But there is now kudos to make it as expensive and complicated as possible. Something ? Jack fruit? (Never heard of it) is going to be the big vegan thing in 2019. Except it leaves a rather large carbon footprint as it grows in Oz.  Just cook what you always cook and change the stuff made with any animal component to a non animal variety. It’s not rocket science. 
Oh and we are going to have a lot of rocket science in 2019 seemingly. 
I really don’t understand why folk want vegan food that looks tastes and smells like meat anyway.
We also tried to be ethical after 2017 ended with David Attenborough filming a haunting message to the world about the amount of plastic in the ocean and how dangerous it is. Single use plastics have to stop. So the big supermarkets vowed to go single use plastic free bags in seven years. McDonalds stopped putting their straws out for the public, you now need to ask for one. Result, consumption of plastic straws down by 10%
Another interesting consumer trend was an 100% increase in sales of black afro hair products. In 2018, most black hair  products were more of the straightener variety. Now they are of the natural variety. So natural afro hair is fighting back, and winning the fight against falsely straightened afro hair.
Oh dear, Irn Bru changed its formula.  It was re-jigged because of the Scottish Government’s sugar tax. That was a tough choice to make! Pay more tax or keep the sugar. I think I read somewhere that sales plummeted so they went back to their old formula. I had a conversation about this very subject on a pier at an animal sanctuary in Indian Rocks Florida. An ex serviceman scouted the internet for old formula Irn Bru and got it flown out.
Who was more influential in fashion? Two names come to mind. Meghan with an H or Kate.
1.9 billion people watched the Harry Meghan wedding which took place during Crimefest. It set off a world wide trend  for British food ( Scones seemingly!) Anything that Meghan wore sold out instantly, esp the boat neckline.
But Kate is still well ahead in the fashion stakes and anything she wears flies off the shelves instantly. She is a one woman revival kit for the British fashion industry.
Figures out in the spring showed a huge drop in people eating in chain restaurants, 35 of Britain’s 100  restaurant chains are now running at a loss.  Too much rapid expansion in the last ten years, cost of food going up, increase in fuel charges and rates are biting hard.  On the flip side the home delivery take away is a hugely growing market. Each person  in the Uk ordered  £1000  worth of takeaway food last year. That is something I am far too mean to do so somebody else is eating all my stuff.
Deliveroo is now worth 1.5 billion pounds,    28% of the under 30’s order take-out food every day! How many of them are vegan hipsters,  dropping bits of jackfruit into their argan oil soaked beards?
What’s the matter with a banana sandwich.
Brexit was back, not that it ever went away. The football was on TV a lot of the summer so it seemed. England was in the world cup, Scotland held its collective breath until they got knocked out.
A much viewed You tube clip is a passenger flight, quiet, doing mid air things. The pilot makes an announcement, and the passengers go wild, crazy bouncing around, high fiving, even the cabin crew have a wee boogie. Yes, we Scots live such boring lives we celebrated  The Auld Enemy getting put out the world cup.
The weather warmed up and  sales of huge TV screens rocketed because of the football. Over 55 inches is now the most common screen size. I guess that is so you can still watch it while opening the front door to your jackfruit vegan takeaway.
And Gareth Southgate ( The England manager for the world cup)  caused a brief but dramatic spike I the sales of waistcoats for men. Both the Museum of London and the Football Museum now have one of his waistcoats as permanent exhibits.
                                                   Mr Southgate, suited and booted
170 year old slightly posh department store House Of Fraser closed many stores to avoid calling in the receivers. Not the Glasgow one I am pleased to say, it’s an old fashioned place with a magnificent stairwell. Over the year 1500 shops, 3800 jobs went from the high street with Maplins/Toy r us being among the victims.
                                                       Frasers Glasgow at Christmas!

Argos  was struggling in 2011 profits fell by 94% on the high street. In those days, you walked into the shop and flicked through a catalogue. In 2011- 2016 online retail doubled so Argos revamped, customers like to browse online, then click and collect. There are over 30 000 items ‘behind’ the scenes in an Argos shop. All need to be available within the hour for customer pick up. Very fit vegans run around with head sets, some central controlling Dalek  shouting ‘left a bit, left a bit’. They could really use some border collies.
The heat wave then started. Sales of fake tan product rocketed. We Scots are naturally blue, we need fake tan to achieve a skin tone.
Then Burberry  burned 28 million pounds worth of stock as the luxury brand did not want it to go to the ‘wrong people’. Not my quotation marks. I’ll leave that there.
The textile industry creates more greenhouse gases than  air travel and farming. ( so would we be better eating meat, being naked and staying where we are?)
Now the textile world is going  green, ethical and sustainable.
Recycled nylon waste and fishing nets are reused for new clothes by one big fashion store. By 2030 they will be  100% recycled  material in their new clothes, it’s now at 35%.
2018 saw a big move to buying second hand clothes on line.  One in ten items are bought, then returned after they have been worn in a selfie.
Fortnite of course was the big game of the year, free to play but lots of expensive add ons. And the dance. At least it keeps them active.
By Autumn,  we had a minister of food, the first one since 1950’s due to fears of food shortages post Brexit.

And Christmas eve box, please go away….
Maybe what kids , and the rest of us need for 2019 is some patience.
And we need it NOW!
Caro Ramsay 2019


  1. Hmm. I'm beginning to feel pressure to sell my sheep - I love Karoo-raised lamb chops. Part of your post reminded me a a song in a revue called Wait a Minim that opened in 1962! You can listen to the song at

    1. Stan... beard tick, jazzarooney tick, hip hop walk tick, coffee fashionista tick. Have you been a hipster all along?

    2. "beard tick"... that brings a pretty nasty image to mind of this blood-sucking insect that hides in your beard where it burrows into your jawline. "coffee fashionista tick"... that's what you get from consuming too much caffeine, right?

    3. I've just shaved! Didn't want to ingest meat when sucking my beard.

  2. In the border collies I see hope for 2019. In Burberry's I see the sort of thinking that has the vegan generation rooting for socialism 2.0. And though sugar may be at risk in Irn Bru, there will always be chuckles and guffaws in your posts. Happy New Year, Caro.

    1. With you in the world, there's enough sweetness to go round. I've made a resolution to be nice to my elders!!!

  3. I had to look up Burberry and Irn Bru (who knew?). Fortunately, no meat was consumed in the composing of this comment, it's 100% vegan.

    1. EvKa, you disappoint me, I thought you were an educated man. Then I remembered you're pals with Jeff!

    2. I figured you'd be disappointed in me for BEING pals with Jeff. I'm learning all kinds of new things today. Until I looked it up, I figured Irn Bru was a beer made by Scottish undertakers...

    3. So much for your resolutions, Lassie.

  4. And a post script- a discussion paper has just been put in front of the gvt- taxing meat in a bid to save the climate and save an estimated £700 million in the NHS. I think we should tax beards next.

  5. If eating meat and staying naked would be helpful, I am happy to sign up. Staying put? Not so much. I know that a Burberry is not an ingredient in a vegan dessert. I have no idea what Irn Bru is, and I’m not sure I want to know c

    1. I shall not contemplate the risks of even attempting to reply to this comment, Sis.

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