Many commentators considered markets to be in terminal decline as the services and products they offered could often be found at a cheaper rate and of higher quality in supermarkets, large retail shopping centres and restaurants. Markets were seen as being dependent upon the footfall which had started to move away from town and city centres to edge of town sites.
Yet over the last decade, the number of food markets operating across the UK has actually increased significantly, and with the arrival of street food, this revival has been amplified further with new markets being created by entrepreneurs, local councils and collectives.
This has resulted from a growing desire from the public to have a greater understanding and ownership of the supply chain for the food they purchase.
The appearance of farmers markets signalled a change in fortunes for the market trade, and saw farmers and producers claiming a growing share of the market by selling direct to the customers. Many of these small producers realised the added value in cooking and selling the food rather than just providing the raw materials. Artisan Market Food had arrived in the UK.