DELIS: HIGH STREET 2.0
In 1997 things were looking pretty grim for greengrocers. According to data from HM Revenue & Customs, between 1997 and 2008, 3,000 closed – around five per week. The main culprits were, of course, supermarkets. Though many sites that were once greengrocers have re-emerged as delis, smartening up their image and introducing speciality foods produced in an assured way. As interest in provenance continues to grow, they are clawing back more of the market share, winning people over with their personal service and by introducing extras such as cafés and tasting events. They’ve also started to specialise, selling single-origin ingredients of superb quality. More recently, internet-only shops have taken the deli online, providing a platform for producers to reach food lovers throughout the UK. Butchers, cheese specialists and even fishmongers are now in on the act.