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Attitudes towards Cooking in the Home - UK - May 2016

“While the recession has been a driving factor for the scratch cooking trend, enjoyment and ingredient control are as important as saving money in prompting people to cook. This should go some way to maintain interest in scratch cooking even as incomes rise. Marketing messages centred on enjoyment provide a means to tap into the emotional aspect of cooking, while addressing concerns surrounding ingredients remains paramount for operators in prepared products.”
– Anita Winther, Research Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Wanting control of ingredients drives 49% to cook
  • Young adults are less confident cooks 
  • The emotional dimension of cooking suggests strong grounds for marketing messages

Most adults take some responsibility for preparing meals at home, with just a small minority reporting to have no role in this. Scratch cooked meals feature near universally on weekly household menus, with many cooking from scratch most days. Meals combining prepared and raw ingredients also feature on the weekly menu for many households, though less often than scratch cooking.

While many cook to save money, the popularity of scratch cooking stems also from the enjoyment many home cooks derive from cooking. Wanting to control ingredients is also an important reason for many. The importance of these drivers should help to continue to support interest in scratch cooking as family finances improve.

Marketing focusing on the enjoyment aspect of cooking should give brands a means to connect with scratch cooks. Meanwhile, transparency remains important for prepared products to win over home cooks.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Topics covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Scratch cooking trend continues
              • Aging population bodes well for scratch cooking
                • Ingredient control a key driver for cooking
                  • Companies and brands
                    • Protein category sees a rise in ease-of-use claims
                      • Figure 1: New product launches in the processed fish, meat & egg products markets with an ‘ease-of-use’ claim, 2012-16*
                    • Products look to leverage interest in scratch cooking
                      • Recipe boxes lend a helping hand to time-poor cooks
                        • Retailers partner with celebrity chefs
                          • Brands tap the emotional side of home cooked meals
                            • The consumer
                              • Most adults take some responsibility for preparing meals
                                • Figure 2: Responsibility for cooking/preparing meals in the household, December 2013 and February 2016
                              • Most people scratch cook in a typical week
                                • Figure 3: Frequency of cooking in the home, by type of meal, February 2016
                              • 50% cook because they enjoy cooking
                                • Figure 4: Reasons for cooking at home, February 2016
                              • Friends and family are the no. 1 source of recipe and meal ideas
                                • Figure 5: Sources of new recipes and meal ideas, February 2016
                              • Young adults are less confident cooks
                                • Figure 6: Behaviours relating to cooking in the Home, February 2016
                              • People like experimenting with new cooking trends and ingredients
                                • Over half of mums feel guilty not cooking from scratch
                                  • Scope to focus on cooking as a family activity
                                    • Figure 7: Attitudes towards cooking in the home, February 2016
                                  • Consumers want advice for leftovers
                                    • What we think
                                    • Issues and Insights

                                      • Wanting control of ingredients drives 49% to cook
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                            • Young adults are less confident cooks
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                  • The emotional dimension of cooking suggests strong grounds for marketing messages
                                                    • The facts
                                                      • The implications
                                                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Scratch cooking trend continues
                                                          • Aging population bodes well for scratch cooking
                                                            • Ingredient control a key driver for cooking
                                                            • Market Drivers

                                                              • Scratch cooking trend continues
                                                                • Figure 8: Household disposable income, consumer price index, consumer price index for food and consumer price index for catering, Q1 2010-Q4 2015
                                                              • Dining-in under threat
                                                                • Aging population bodes well for scratch cooking
                                                                  • Three in ten households have one member
                                                                    • Ingredient control a key driver for cooking
                                                                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                      • Protein categories see a rise in ease-of-use claims
                                                                        • Products look to leverage interest in scratch cooking
                                                                          • Recipe boxes lend a helping hand to time-poor cooks
                                                                            • Retailers partner with celebrity chefs
                                                                              • Brands tap the emotional side of home cooked meals
                                                                              • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                • Protein categories see a rise in ease-of-use claims
                                                                                    • Figure 9: New product launches in the processed fish, meat & egg products markets with an ‘ease-of-use’ claim, 2012-16*
                                                                                  • Cooking pastes and bases look to leverage interest in scratch cooking
                                                                                    • Birds Eye blurs the boundaries with Stir Your Senses
                                                                                      • Recipe boxes lend a helping hand to time-poor cooks
                                                                                        • Retailers expand ingredient offerings
                                                                                        • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                          • Asda signs up TV chef James Martin
                                                                                            • Sainsbury’s encourages experimentation with Little Twists
                                                                                              • Brands tap the emotional side of home cooked meals
                                                                                                • AHDB launches red meat campaigns
                                                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                  • Most adults take some responsibility for preparing meals
                                                                                                    • Most people scratch cook in a typical week
                                                                                                      • 50% cook because they enjoy cooking
                                                                                                        • Friends and family are the no. 1 source of recipe and meal ideas
                                                                                                          • Young adults are less confident cooks
                                                                                                            • People like experimenting with new cooking trends and ingredients
                                                                                                              • Over half of mums feel guilty not cooking from scratch
                                                                                                                • Scope to focus on cooking as a family activity
                                                                                                                  • Consumers want advice for leftovers
                                                                                                                  • Cooking Responsibilities

                                                                                                                    • Nine in 10 adults take some responsibility for preparing meals
                                                                                                                      • Figure 10: Responsibility for cooking/preparing meals in the household, December 2013 and February 2016
                                                                                                                    • Traditional patterns prevail for cooking responsibilities
                                                                                                                      • Figure 11: Responsibility for cooking/preparing meals in the household, by gender and age, February 2016
                                                                                                                  • Frequency of Cooking Different Types of Meals

                                                                                                                    • Most people scratch cook in a typical week
                                                                                                                      • Figure 12: Frequency of cooking in the home, by type of meal, February 2016
                                                                                                                    • Use of prepared products skewed toward Millennials
                                                                                                                      • Prepared meals’ usage frequency is low
                                                                                                                      • Reasons for Cooking

                                                                                                                        • 50% cook because they enjoy cooking…
                                                                                                                          • … but an equal share cook for other reasons
                                                                                                                            • Figure 13: Reasons for cooking at home, February 2016
                                                                                                                          • Wanting control of ingredients drives 49% to cook
                                                                                                                            • Figure 14: Top three reasons for cooking at home, by frequency of cooking from scratch in the household, February 2016
                                                                                                                          • Focus remains on ingredient quality
                                                                                                                            • Demand for personalisation drives many to cook
                                                                                                                              • Many cook to save money
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 15: “To save money” as reason for cooking at home, by financial situation, February 2016
                                                                                                                              • Sources for Recipe and Meal Ideas

                                                                                                                                • Friends and family are the no. 1 source of recipe and meal ideas
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 16: Sources of new recipes and meal ideas, February 2016
                                                                                                                                • Two in five use cookbooks
                                                                                                                                  • Over half of 16-34s get recipes and meal ideas online
                                                                                                                                    • Cooking websites are the most common online source
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 17: Online sources of new recipes and meal ideas, February 2016
                                                                                                                                    • YouTube and social media can reach under-35s
                                                                                                                                    • Behaviours Relating to Cooking

                                                                                                                                      • Young adults are less confident cooks
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 18: Behaviours relating to cooking in the home, February 2016
                                                                                                                                        • People like experimenting with new cooking trends and ingredients
                                                                                                                                          • Cooking with seasonal ingredients holds wide appeal
                                                                                                                                            • Over half of mums feel guilty not cooking from scratch
                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes towards Cooking in the Home

                                                                                                                                              • Scope to focus on cooking as a family activity
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 19: Attitudes towards cooking in the home, February 2016
                                                                                                                                              • Consumers want advice for leftovers
                                                                                                                                                • Cooking temperature for meat is a concern for a quarter
                                                                                                                                                • CHAID Analysis

                                                                                                                                                  • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                    • Young parents are key demographic for pre-prepared ingredients
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Target groups based on attitudes towards cooking – CHAID – Tree output, February 2016
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 21: Target groups based on attitudes towards cooking – CHAID – Table output, February 2016
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 22: Target groups based on reasons why people cook from scratch/partly cook from scratch – CHAID – Table output, February 2016
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Target groups based behaviours relating to cooking – CHAID – Table output, February 2016
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer research methodology

                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                        To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                        Attitudes towards Cooking in the Home - UK - May 2016

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