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Consumer Attitudes Towards Cooking in the Home - UK - February 2014

“Men are markedly less likely than women to have responsibility for cooking and/or preparing foods in British households, and also cook meals from scratch far less frequently, showing that traditional stereotypes still ring true. So it is interesting to note that men (31%) are more likely than women (26%) to feel pride from cooking a meal, and are also more likely to feel adventurous. Food marketers could harness this through messages urging men to be bold and ‘have a go’, portraying the meal preparation as a man’s audacious mission to feed his loved ones.”

– Alex Beckett, Senior Food Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • What do food marketers need to know about men’s attitudes towards cooking?
  • How do 16-24s see cooking?
  • To what extent do TV shows inspire people to cook?
  • Which marketing themes could be more widely explored by food brands?

Encouragingly, consumers are more likely to associate cooking in the home with feeling confident, valued and relaxed, as opposed to more negative feelings like stressful, boring and annoying, highlighting the pleasure which people generally gain from cooking meals at home.

And illustrating an enthusiasm among consumers for scratch cooking, one in three adults who have/share responsibility for cooking in the home eat meals cooked completely from scratch five times a week or more.

This report also uncovers some illuminating consumer attitudes and behaviours towards cooking in the home. For example, 16-24s are less likely than older groups to have a confident perception of cooking, and are more likely to find it stressful, while the presence of vegetables in meals declines in importance among lower socio-economic groups and lower earners.

Meanwhile, men are more likely than women to feel pride and adventurousness from cooking, potentially influencing the messaging for the marketing activity of food companies and retailers.

This report looks at consumers’ behaviours and attitudes related to cooking in the home. Its aim is to explore the existing patterns of cooking in terms of how households cook, their use of convenience products and the key drivers in their choice of meal.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • Market factors
              • Nearly two fifths of adults enjoy experimenting with recipes
                • The home baking market could provide ideas for in-home cooking
                  • The number of 20-34-year-olds living with parents rises 25% since 1996
                    • The consumer
                      • Women are more likely to have responsibility for cooking
                        • One in three in-home cooks scratch cook five times a week or more
                          • Younger adults are less likely to have positive perceptions of cooking
                            • Figure 1: Consumer perceptions towards cooking in the home, December 2013
                          • Men are more likely than women to feel pride in cooking
                            • Five a day and fillingness are equally important
                              • Figure 2: Factors influencing meal choices, December 2013
                            • Just under half of adults shop with a specific meal in mind
                              • Figure 3: Consumer attitudes towards meal planning, December 2013
                            • Two fifths of parents note the importance of kids’ cooking independence
                              • Figure 4: Consumer attitudes towards cooking and preparing meals, December 2013
                            • What we think
                            • Issues in the Market

                                • What do food marketers need to know about men’s attitudes towards cooking?
                                  • How do 16-24s see cooking?
                                    • To what extent do TV shows inspire people to cook?
                                      • Which marketing themes could be more widely explored by food brands?
                                      • Trend Application

                                          • Trend: Survival Skills
                                            • Trend: FSTR HYPR
                                              • Mintel Futures: East Meets West
                                              • Market Drivers

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Nearly two fifths of adults enjoy experimenting with recipes
                                                    • Figure 5: Selected cooking and eating habits, March 2012-October 2013
                                                  • Rising food prices continue to heap pressure on household budgets
                                                    • Figure 6: Total food CPI, January 2007-November 2013
                                                  • Growth in ready meals could provide competition for in-home cooking
                                                    • The home baking market could provide ideas for in-home cooking
                                                      • Slow growth predicted in real incomes
                                                        • Figure 7: GfK NOP Consumer Confidence Index, monthly, January 2008-October 2013
                                                      • Demographic changes
                                                        • Ageing population should support cooking at home
                                                          • Figure 8: Forecast adult population trends, by lifestage, 2008-18
                                                        • The number of 20-34-year-olds living with parents rises 25% since 1996
                                                        • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                          • Strengths
                                                            • Weaknesses
                                                            • The Consumer – Who Mainly Cooks at Home?

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Women are more likely to have responsibility for cooking
                                                                  • Figure 9: Responsibility for cooking/preparing food in the household, December 2013
                                                                • 16-24s and students are most likely to have someone else cooking/preparing their meals
                                                                • The Consumer – Frequency of Cooking in the Home

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • One in three in-home cooks scratch cook five times a week or more
                                                                      • Figure 10: Frequency of cooking in the home, by type of meal, December 2013
                                                                    • Nearly seven in 10 16-24s have convenience food more than once a week
                                                                    • The Consumer – Perceptions of Cooking in the Home

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Younger adults are less likely to have positive perceptions of cooking
                                                                          • Figure 11: Consumer perceptions towards cooking in the home, December 2013
                                                                          • Figure 12: Consumer perceptions towards cooking in the home, by age, December 2013
                                                                        • Men are more likely than women to feel pride in cooking
                                                                          • Figure 13: Consumer perceptions towards cooking in the home, by gender, December 2013
                                                                        • Cooking can be marketed as therapy
                                                                          • Lower socio-economic groups are less likely to have positive associations with cooking
                                                                            • Figure 14: Selected consumer perceptions towards cooking in the home, by socio-economic group, December 2013
                                                                        • The Consumer – Factors Influencing Meal Choices

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Five a day and fillingness are equally important
                                                                              • Figure 15: Factors influencing meal choices, December 2013
                                                                              • Figure 16: ‘Contains at least one portion of vegetables for my recommended five a day’ as a factor influencing meal choices, by age and socio-economic group, December 2013
                                                                            • Weekends are the time for experimentation
                                                                              • Easy to prepare is deemed more important than quick to prepare
                                                                                • The importance of low price declines with age during the week
                                                                                    • Figure 17: ‘Something indulgent’ as a factor influencing meal choices, by age, December 2013
                                                                                  • One in five choose a weekday meal based on the washing up required
                                                                                  • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Meal Planning

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Just under half of adults shop with a specific meal in mind
                                                                                        • Figure 18: Consumer attitudes towards meal planning, December 2013
                                                                                        • Figure 19: Agreement with the statements ‘I usually do my grocery shopping with specific meals in mind’ and ‘I usually plan the meals for the week ahead before doing the shopping’, by age, December 2013
                                                                                      • Three in 10 adults decide what to eat on the evening itself
                                                                                        • Women are most likely to get bored with meal repertoires
                                                                                          • More than one in five adults inspired by TV shows and in-store info
                                                                                          • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Cooking and Preparing Meals

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Two fifths of parents note the importance of kids’ cooking independence
                                                                                                • Figure 20: Consumer attitudes towards cooking and preparing meals, December 2013
                                                                                              • Giving children scratch-cooked food is key for two in five parents
                                                                                                • Figure 21: Agreement with the statement ‘It’s important that my kids eat enough food which is made from scratch (ie completely homemade)’, by age of respondent and age of children present in household, December 2013
                                                                                              • Just two in five think it’s important that a family eats together at least once a week
                                                                                                • Women are the more likely to make less effort with cooking, if dining alone
                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Agreement with the statements ‘I am less likely to make an effort preparing a meal if I’m eating alone’ and ‘If I had more time I would prefer to cook from scratch’, by gender and age, December 2013
                                                                                                • Three in 10 see weekends as a time for experimenting with food
                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Agreement with the statement ‘I am more likely to experiment with cooking a new dish at the weekend than in the week’, by age and household income, December 2013
                                                                                              • Appendix – Market Drivers

                                                                                                  • Figure 24: GDP, PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, at constant 2013 prices, 2008-18
                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2008-18
                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Consumer cooking and eating habits, by demographics, October 2013
                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Who Mainly Cooks at Home?

                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Responsibility for cooking/preparing food in the household, December 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Responsibility for cooking/preparing food in the household, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Frequency of Cooking in the Home

                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Frequency of cooking in the home, December 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Frequency of cooking in the home – A dish created completely from scratch using uncooked ingredients, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Frequency of cooking in the home – A dish that is made up of a combination of prepared product(s) alongside uncooked ingredients to create a dish, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Frequency of cooking in the home – Prepared meals (including ready meals, pizza, soup), by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Perceptions towards Cooking in the Home

                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Consumer perceptions towards cooking in the home, December 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Most popular consumer perceptions towards cooking in the home, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Next most popular consumer perceptions towards cooking in the home, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Factors Influencing Meal Choices

                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Factors influencing meal choices, December 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Most popular factors influencing meal choices – Weekday, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Next most popular factors influencing meal choices – Weekday, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Most popular factors influencing meal choices – Weekend (including Fridays), by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Next most popular factors influencing meal choices – Weekend (including Fridays), by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Attitudes towards Meal Planning

                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Consumer attitudes towards meal planning, December 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Most popular consumer attitudes towards meal planning, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Next most popular consumer attitudes towards meal planning, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Attitudes towards Cooking and Preparing Meals

                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Consumer attitudes towards cooking and preparing meals, December 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Most popular consumer attitudes towards cooking and preparing meals, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Next most popular consumer attitudes towards cooking and preparing meals, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Other consumer attitudes towards cooking and preparing meals, by demographics, December 2013

                                                                                              Companies Covered

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                                                                                              Consumer Attitudes Towards Cooking in the Home - UK - February 2014

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