It’s not surprising that the Big Night In has become such an important element in British grocery purchasing. People work hard during the week and look forward to a break when they finish and to relaxing with friends and family.

Charles-New-GreyThis is where food and drink for sharing comes into its own. Yes, we’re all more aware these days of the goodies and baddies in our dietary intake and the effect over indulgence can have on our bodies, but a Big Night In ought to offer the chance for a treat without worrying and we should feel free to be able to enjoy ourselves responsibly on these occasions.

The Big Night In concept came into its own in grocery retailing in the 1980s when local stores of all sizes latched onto video rentals as a suitable focus for much of their in-store merchandising. Video movie rentals are history now but box set DVDs and popular TV series still lock us in for weeks. Take home sales of alcoholic and soft drinks also get a massive boost from televised sport on weekdays, primarily football and tennis. This summer’s Olympics will be a case in point. As the weather warms up, the Big Night In extends into the garden, but that’s another story!

There’s a distinct gender bias to all this, even with our changing viewing and gaming habits. The classic scenarios of the boys gaming or watching sport and the girls watching a movie or a big TV series are still with us. Every second counts on a Big Night In and microwavable snacks like Kepak’s Rustlers have established themselves as stars in the grocery firmament.

Soft drinks are another key part of a Big Night In, especially for people who have to go to work in the morning. Over the next few years we will see whether the sugar tax and other strictures have an impact on Big Night In consumption and sugar free carbonates and flavoured waters come to the fore.

The food and snacks we enjoy on a Big Night In may also become healthier as the current concern about sugar is followed by a similar concern about salt and fat when it comes to treats. Meanwhile a bit of what you fancy does you good – and long may it last

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