8 Aug 2022DisruptorsAre the UK’S hungry huns changing pleasure?Britons are looking for moments of playful indulgence to combat an anxiety onslaught

A playful nation who likes a sense of humour as a side with their meals, the great British public are searching for brands that give them a sense of joy, relief and escapsim – as Jaffa Donuts so effectively understood – and bring a moment of light relief from the daily grind.

India DoyleIndia Doyle is the editorial director of Canvas8's Library. She oversees the editorial direction of research across content types to ensure Canvas8 members understand changes in consumer behaviour and culture and the opportunities around behavioural change. India has worked as a journalist for ten years, interviewing industry and cultural leaders including Christy Turlington, Olympic boxer Ramla Ali, and Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös. She has contributed to SHOWStudio, Dazed and Confused, ekathimerini, Wonderland, and Dapper Dan magazine.

As of November 2021,16% of UK adults felt that life will never return to normal – reflecting the hectic road to recovery in the post-lockdown era. Indeed, while the spectre of the pandemic has receded, people continue to feel anxious, uncertain and uneasy – and with a backdrop of cost of living crisis, energy poverty, food scarcity and a lack of stable government, it’s easy to see why.

Campaigns such as Enough is Enough are advocating for a new political agenda. But when it comes to escapism, people are also seeking out small moments of relief and rebellion within contexts that they can control. This explains why Hun culture – a mindset that’s all about  ‘doing you’ and embracing flaws – is making itself felt within the food and drink sector.

In fact, for all the talk around healthy eating, Malteasers, Dairy Milk, Cadbury’s Chocolate Fingers, McVities Digestives, KitKat and Magnum all feature in the country’s top 10 favourite brands. The pleasure seeking Hun is open to playing with their food. For brands, that levity opens up a host of opportunities. For example, we saw Pizza Express tap into this with a boisterous relaunch of their Pizza Express club and the launch of their pizza-as-a-wrap lunch offer, positioning Pizza Express as the spot to drink hair of the dog or date your friend’s ex, and get rewarded for it.

With anti-ambition, anti-main character energy circulating, the power of the playful pleasure moment is stronger than ever.