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10 Jun, 2015


  • Britons want to ditch modern life and live more simply
  • Biggest modern life gripes: Phone-addicts and bad manners
  • 7 out of 10 would love to grow their own fruit and vegetables
  • Kellogg’s Origins survey shows Britons want natural, unprocessed food

Almost three quarters of people want to abandon modern comforts and live more simply, like the characters in the classic BBC show ‘The Good Life’, a survey of 2,000 people has shown.

The famous sitcom, starring Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal as Tom and Barbara Good, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. However, it seems the premise – that of a draughtsman giving up his job and all modern conveniences to live self-sufficiently – is more relevant than ever.

The survey by Kellogg’s, conducted for its Origins campaign, revealed that 73% of people want to grow their own food and be self-sufficient, though more than half of those said they’d need some home comforts.

The reasons for going back to the Good Life were many: when asked to name the things about modern life that they found the most irritating, some 64% cited seeing people glued to their mobile phones, 61% said bad manners and 47% said a lack of respect from children. The overuse of make-up and fake tan, robotic voices on the phone and society’s materialism were also high on the list.

However, six out of ten said they couldn’t live without the internet, 42% said they’d be loath to give up the television, and a third claimed they needed their smartphone.

When it came to living ‘The Good Life’, respondents were most enthused about growing their own fruit and vegetables (67% said they’d be very enthusiastic about giving it a go), reading more books (54%) and doing more gardening (44%).

More than a third said they’d love to generate their own electricity – perhaps not surprising given today’s energy prices – but 41% said they’d have no idea how to go about it.

Respondents also gave their opinions on going back to basics with food.

For the average person, any more than nine ingredients made them feel suspicious about how natural a product is.

The average Briton also claimed 277 ‘food miles’ – the journey from the food’s source to your plate – is too many. That’s the same distance as the walk from London Charing Cross to Newcastle.

When asked to name things that made them feel good about buying a food product, 46% of respondents said they liked foods that weren’t too processed, 45% prioritised taste, 43% said they liked local UK produce, 34% loved recognisable ingredients and 33% mentioned natural wholegrains.

Kellogg’s spokeswoman Louise Thompson-Davies said: “Modern life is full of irritations – so much so that even 40 years after the Good Life aired we still want to go back to basics and live a simpler existence.

“For most people, it seems that means growing their own food and understanding the journey from plant to plate.

“The Kellogg’s Origins campaign celebrates the fact our best-loved family cereals, including Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies, come from sustainably farmed, instantly recognisable grains.”

The Kellogg’s Origins campaign lets shoppers redeem a “Grow Your Own” seed planter kit in exchange for three boxes of cereal.


1 – People glued to mobile phone – 64% said it irritated them

2 – Bad manners – 61%

3 – Lack of respect from children – 47%

4 – Overuse of make-up and fake tan – 45%

5 – Robotic voices on the phone – 43%

6 – The materialism of society – 42%

7 – Poor grammar – 42%

8 – People have too little empathy for others – 38%

9 – The price of things going up – 38%

10 – Americanisms creeping into everyday language – 37%