Forget landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower or the Alhambra Palace, it’s French cheese or Spanish Paella that helps millions of Brits choose where to travel abroad.

New research, commissioned by Tesco Mobile, reveals nearly a quarter of Brits (24%) pick locations based on local cuisine rather than the culture, landmarks or even the beaches. In fact, 23% said their bucket list consists of more food to try than locations to travel to.

Almost half of those asked (49%) prefer dining at local independent restaurants, immersing themselves in authentic flavours. Furthermore, one in five (21%) adventurous travellers seek out local street foods to uncover hidden culinary gems. The study also revealed some intriguing local food choices, with one in four (26%) having indulged in octopus, 14% sampling frogs’ legs, but only 4% daring to try grasshoppers during their travels.

The top five food-led destinations Brits were heading to this summer were Italy, followed by Spain, France, Greece and Portugal.

In response to the significant role food plays in our holiday decisions, with four in ten (42%) feeling nervous to visit a country where they haven’t tried the cuisine, Tesco Mobile has introduced its Roaming Food Truck. The one-of-a-kind food van will be dishing out holiday inspiration from some of the 48+ countries in Europe and beyond that Tesco Mobile customers can roam at no extra cost this year.

Popping up at select Tesco stores across the country, Tesco Mobile Roaming Food Truck will serve free food from a range of cuisines including Swedish meatballs, Bulgarian cheese and onion muffins and Romanian Pastrami Crostini. The aim isto encourage British travellers to venture beyond familiar tastes to enrich their travel experiences. Offering multiple delicacies in one platter, its menu was created by the Executive Chef team at Tesco, and will feature some of the scrumptious summer food range available at Tesco stores.

The Tesco Mobile Roaming Food Truck will head to Manchester on Thursday 29th June, stopping at the Tesco Extra Carpark, Altrincham Rd, Baguley, Manchester M23 9TJ from 11:30am.

What’s more, those who roam from home to find the Tesco Mobile Roaming Food Truck will be in with a chance of winning one of the three golden envelopes, filled with £500 of travel vouchers. Foodies will need to pay attention when enjoying their free food as the envelopes will be hidden in the serveware and will be handed out randomly.

Rachel Swift, Tesco Mobile Chief Customer Officer, said: “As the UK’s super helpful network, we are pleased to be offering roaming at no extra cost in 48+ countries in Europe and beyond to our customers for the whole of 2023, helping them to take one thing off their holiday list.

“One thing that’s clear from our research is that, as a nation, we can get quite comfortable travelling to the same holiday destinations over and over again. Knowing what a big role food plays in our holiday decisions, we are inviting everyone to visit our Roaming Food Van, so they can roam with their stomachs before booking their holidays.”

Also uncovered in the research were the European foods most popular among travellers that they’d never try at home – including Polish, Portuguese and Scandinavian meals.

British travellers are more inclined to try local cuisines abroad rather than sticking to familiar dishes from home (40% versus 12%). This preference stems from the desire for an authentic travel experience (69 percent), the quest for fresher foods (37%), support for the local economy (26%), and the opportunity to engage with locals (26%).

Notably, just under one in ten (9%) of respondents invest considerable time researching dining options before embarking on their journeys, highlighting their dedication to discovering exceptional culinary destinations.

Top 20 European cuisines that get people travelling for food are:

  1.   Italy
  2. Spain
  3.  France
  4.  Greece
  5.  Portugal
  6.  Germany
  7.  Belgium
  8. Canary Islands
  9. Netherlands
  10. Switzerland
  11. Malta
  12. Austria
  13. Sweden
  14. Poland
  15. Republic of Cyprus
  16. Denmark
  17. Ireland (Republic of)
  18. Croatia
  19. Norway
  20. Jersey

For more information on the Home From Home offer and to view Tesco Mobile’s latest deals, please visit here.


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