A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46

22 15.


It is a particular criticism of National Wheatmeal Bread that it does not keep as well as other bread. In Section 7 it was shown that some 225 of those giving up the bread criticised on those grounds (or under 4% of those who had tried the bread).

A direct question was therefore put to all housewives who had tried N.W.B. asking them to indicate what in their opinions were the keeping qualities of N.W.B. as compared with (a) Ordinary Brown Bread (b) White Bread.

Compared with Ordinary Brown Compared with White
Keeps better 21.6 25.5
Gets stale more quickly 18.9 24.0
Same as ordinary brown 23.9 19.0
Don’t know 35.6 31.5
Sample 1,385 100% Sample 1,399 100%

Of the large proportion unable to gives an opinion on the subject one might assumes that at least the point had not been present in their minds as a criticism of the bread. There is, however, an appreciable minority of the opinion that N.W.B. does get stale more quickly than other breads. This proportion is considerably higher than the proportion of those trying the bread who gave it up because of this criticism (under 4%), It may be assumed therefore that the criticism indicated in the figures below is not enough to stop most of those thinking it from buying the bread.

National Wheatmeal as Compared with Ordinary Brown Bread .

Scotland S. Wales N. Mid. N. West N. & N.E. Midland London & S.N. S’th S.W. East Total
Keeps Better 8.2 29.6 39.4 12.5 19.9 22.2 18.9 35.4 28.8 37.3 21.6
Gets stale more quickly 20.3 7.0 14.4 19.8 18.2 35.4 19.3 10.9 16.2 20.6 18.9
Same as ordinary brown. 41.9 1.4 20.2 35.3 29.5 26.3 12.8 24.4 25.0 14.7 23.9
Don’t Know 29.0 62.0 25.9 32.4 32.7 16.1 49.0 29.3 50.0 27.4 35.6

It is interesting that in 3 of the areas(London & S.E., S. Wales and S.W.) where there was greatest proportional success with N.W.B. (See p.6 Penetration of Publicity) the proportion unable to give an opinion were is very high. This may be because (i) acceptance of N.W.B. is more uncritically enthusiastic in these areas (ii) Ordinary brown bread is not so widely known in these areas. It must be remembered in comparing these figures that the make-up of N.W.B. varies widely in different regions.

National Wheatmeal as compared with White Bread .

Scotland S. Wales N. Mid. N. West N. & N.E. Midland London & S.N. S’th S.W. East Total
Keeps Better 11.5 21.1 43.2 22.3 29.6 17.2 27.9 40.0 27.3 29.6 25.5
Gets stale more quickly 24.0 7.0 17.6 22.3 22.0 41.4 31.3 12.5 16.3 26.6 24.0
Same as ordinary brown. 35.5 1.4 15.7 21.4 18.2 27.3 13.3 21.3 5.0 14.3 19.0
Don’t Know 29.0 70.5 23.5 33.9 30.2 15.1 27.5 26.2 14.3 29.6 31.5
23 16.


This section analyses the c0nsumption of Milk, by different regions, by household; social group and family type. An attempt is made to estimate the effect of “Priority Milk” and “National Milk”, whilst a final section makes a theoretical assessment of the milk consumed by Adults.


  1. 1. Regional differences in consumption were marked and distribution in each region followed different patterns for both consumption per head and per family.

  2. 2. 2. There were clear differences in consumption per head and per family in the social groups distinguished. These differences cannot be explained by different family composition, as is made clear by an analysis of the composition of the families.

  3. 3. The effect of granting priority supply to certain age groups is clearly marked. Families with children aged 5-18 received somewhat more milk per head than families of adults only, and families with children under five received very much more milk per head. There is evidence to show however that the priority scheme for 5-17s is not working in a considerable proportion of poorer families.

  4. 4. From Summary tables compiled it is clear that about 20% of the population is receiving [Text Missing] or more pints of milk a week: 61% are receiving 3 1/2 or more pints a week, and 19% less than 2 pints per head a week. There are, however, marked regional variations and clear social differences.

  5. 5. A high proportion of families which were eligible for National Milk were, in fact, consuming all their allowance of National Milk (78%) and only 17% of eligible families were consuming no National Milk.

  6. 6. An attempt is made to estimate the milk left for adults in the families interviewed, allowance having been made for consumption of National Milk by infants and Priority Milk by the 5-18 s .


(half pints.)

(The Median is noted in each region)

E. 26.3
N.M. 24.3
S. 23.6
S.W. 22.3
N.W. 21.0
Average 20.4½ pts.
Scot. 20.0
Mid. 19.8
N. & N.E 18.0
L & S.E. 17.9
S. Wales 17.8

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