IT is a culinary tradition of long-standing, tucked into in households across the UK at the weekend, but - like so much else - the Sunday roast has fallen foul of the economic climate.


It has a long history?

It is thought that the Sunday roast dates back to King Henry VII's rule in the 1400s when Royal bodyguards were known as “beefeaters” due to their love of tucking into roasted beef. But there is another theory that the Sunday roast came to be in 

medieval times, when village serfs served the squire six days of the week and were rewarded with a good meal on a Sunday.


Any other theories?

Some say the roast dates to the fact that church-goers abstained from meat on a Friday and so, before going to church on a Sunday, would put a joint into the oven with potatoes and vegetables, ready to be served after the service, with the juices used to make gravy for those lucky enough to have ovens or fireplaces. Those without would sometimes drop the roasts off for cooking at bakeries.


Meat, potatoes, veg and…?

Yorkshire pudding, although in years gone by, they were served as a starter in the hope it would fill people up so that they would eat less of the main course in a bid to save money.


What’s going on?

Money is again an issue across the board, of course, but it is also affecting this particular custom. A survey from Opinium has found that 36 per cent of UK adults say the cost-of-living crisis had made them reconsider dishing up a homemade roast dinner at the end of the week. The figure is even higher among those aged 16 to 34, with nearly half (47%) saying they avoid cooking roasts altogether.


The cost-of-living continues to bite?

Leading data analytics firm Kantar say grocery prices have jumped by a record 16.7% compared to last year, in the largest hike since 2008. Food prices rose by 2.3 percentage points in just four weeks, with the average grocery bill now expected to rise by £788 this year – bringing the total amount to £5,504. Additional research from money management app HyperJar reported 42% of its customers are planning to spend less on groceries and energy in response to the cost-of-living crisis.



A further two-thirds of shoppers are increasingly snapping up more from supermarkets' own-brand value ranges to cope, with sales of these products growing by 9.3% in January as shoppers look to cut costs where they can.


And so?

The roast is being cut out of the weekly shopping budget, the research shows.


It isn’t “all gravy” then?

Indeed, it is not. As the old saying puts it, if “it’s all gravy to you”, then you are likely enjoying life’s little luxuries - along the lines of the gravy served with the “meat and potatoes” we may all hope to have on the table. But in these trying times, none of it is guaranteed.