The years after World War II brought with them huge structural changes to daily British life. Beginning to recover and reflect on the systemic damage brought on by war, the seeds of a cultural revolution were sewn deep within British towns, cities, and homes. As new generations emerged from the rubbles and re-built hospitals, this was the moment that a shift in thought and behaviour was on the horizon.
Up and down the country, post-war life witnessed massive social, cultural, and political upheavals that beckoned a revolution in values, prospects, and consumer habits.
One particular sphere of life that saw huge developments was our relationship with food and our emerging consumer spending powers.
For those who lived during the war, rationing became the status quo, with “keep calm and carry on” the daily mantra that got you through the week. Spending powers were practically non-existent, and foods that were available were strictly rationed. Indeed, efforts by the Ministry of Food were well-spent on encouraging home-grown food in your own back garden.
It would be nearly ten years until rationing finally came to an end, however, in 1954. And with the end of rationing brought a new dawn – and a vigour for experiencing new foods, restaurants, and faraway places.
The generations that were born after the war saw an upturn in standards of living, technology, and an increase in disposable income. And with this – a revolution in the food and leisure industry was borne.
Whether people spent their disposable income in new fast-food chain restaurants, or began storing new foods in their refrigerators – the food revolution found its way through every avenue of British life. And with globalisation brought new tastes, habits, and attitudes to our shores.
True, the years after the war were tough, and it took generations to recover. Yet the decades that rolled through brought an unprecedented shift in social experiences that enabled us to connect more with the world.
This infographic by Nisbets is here to bring you a whistle-stop tour of the post-war food revolution that is far from over.