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Evening Meal Preferences - Ireland - October 2019

“Cooking from scratch remains a weekly, if not daily task, among Irish consumers despite the increasing investment into new product development of prepared foods. While it is becoming more commonplace to skip breakfast and reduce the time spent during lunchtime, the evening meal is sacred with the majority of consumers making time for a sit-down meal.”
– Emma McGeown, Research Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • Market factors
            • Prices decrease in RoI while in the UK they are on the rise
              • Hospitality VAT returns to 13.5% in RoI but still lower than NI
                • Cooking responsibility falling to women
                  • Ageing population offers opportunities
                    • Companies and innovations
                      • The consumer
                        • Scratch cooking remains important to Irish consumers
                          • Figure 1: The types of evening meals consumers eat in a typical week, NI and RoI, September 2019
                          • Figure 2: Frequency consumers eat meals cooked from scratch in a typical week, NI and RoI, September 2019
                        • Low-fat foods eaten by a fifth of Irish consumers
                          • Figure 3: Types of free-from products bought for themselves or others in the household to have as part of an evening meal, NI and RoI, September 2019
                        • Irish consumers finding themselves lacking inspiration
                          • Figure 4: Behaviours towards meal preparation and cooking, NI and RoI, September 2019
                        • It is important to make time for dinner
                          • Figure 5: Agreement with statements related to meal preparation and food, NI and RoI, September 2019
                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                        • Food prices on the rise in the UK while prices decrease in RoI
                          • Foodservice VAT returns to 13.5% in RoI
                            • Women more likely to be responsible for cooking
                              • Shifts in household sizes and age demographics offer opportunities
                              • Market Drivers

                                • Food prices drop in RoI, while the UK is on the rise
                                  • Figure 6: Consumer price index of food, RoI, May 2017-July 2019
                                  • Figure 7: Consumer price index of food and beverages, NI, May 2017-July 2019
                                • RoI VAT hike sees foodservice prices jump in 2019
                                  • Figure 8: Consumer price indices of restaurants, cafés, fast food and takeout establishments, RoI, August 2017-July 2019
                                  • Figure 9: Consumer price indices of restaurants and cafés, NI, August 2017-July 2019
                                • Scratch cooking frequency strong in IoI
                                  • Figure 10: Consumers who are mainly responsible for cooking/preparing meals in the household, by gender, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                  • Figure 11: Consumers who share responsibility for cooking/preparing meals in the household, by gender, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                • Ageing population could lead to greater usage of prepared meals
                                  • Figure 12: Actual and projected population (%) for NI, by age, 2017 and 2041
                                  • Figure 13: Actual and projected population (%) for RoI, by age, 2017 and 2046
                                • One-person homes on the rise
                                  • Figure 14: Actual and projected population (%) for NI, by household size, 2016 and 2041
                                  • Figure 15: Estimated population of one-person households, RoI, 2011 and 2016
                              • Who’s Innovating? – What You Need to Know

                                • Ethical and environmental claims continue to rise
                                  • Vegan and vegetarian claims surge in 2018
                                    • Free-from trends prompt innovation
                                    • Who’s Innovating?

                                      • Ethical claims lead innovation
                                        • Figure 16: New products launched in meals & meal centre, side dish, and processed fish, poultry, meat & egg product, by claims, UK & Ireland, 2014-19
                                      • Flexitarian diets on the rise
                                        • Figure 17: New products launched in meals & meal centre, side dish, and processed fish, poultry, meat & egg product, by vegetarian and vegan claims, UK & Ireland, 2014-19
                                        • Figure 18: Consumers who adhere to select diets, NI and RoI, 2018 and 2019
                                        • Figure 19: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘Plant-based vegetarian products (eg nuts, beans etc) are more appealing than products made with meat substitute’, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                      • Injecting fun into the vegan food space
                                        • One in 10 Irish consumers avoid gluten
                                          • Figure 20: New products launched in meals & meal centre, side dish, and processed fish, poultry, meat & egg product, by gluten-free and dairy-free claims, UK & Ireland, 2014-19
                                          • Figure 21: Top five types of food/ingredients avoided because they/a member of household has a confirmed or suspected allergy/intolerance, NI and RoI, April 2017
                                          • Figure 22: Top five qualities Irish consumers would be interested in seeing in new free-from food, NI and RoI, April 2017
                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                        • Most consumers scratch cook for evening meals
                                          • Free-from foods eaten by four in 10 Irish consumers
                                            • Most consumers cooking with whatever ingredients they have at home
                                              • The importance of a family meal isn’t lost on Irish consumers
                                              • Evening Meal Preparation

                                                  • Irish consumers most likely to scratch cook
                                                    • Figure 23: The types of evening meals consumers eat in a typical week, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                  • Half of RoI consumers scratch cooking five or more times a week
                                                    • Figure 24: Frequency consumers eat meals cooked from scratch in a typical week, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                    • Figure 25: Top five reasons for cooking from scratch, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                  • NI consumers more likely to order in
                                                    • Figure 26: Consumer who order a takeaway in a typical week, by gender and age, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                    • Figure 27: Consumer agreement with statements related to the night in, 2017 and 2019
                                                  • Eating in a restaurant done by one in 10 Irish consumers
                                                    • Figure 28: Consumers who eat out in a typical week, by social class, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                    • Figure 29: Activities done by consumers outside of the home during weekend nights in the last month, NI and RoI, August 2016
                                                • Free-from Requirements

                                                    • Low-fat products used by a fifth of Irish consumers
                                                      • Figure 30: Types of free-from products bought for themselves or others in the household to have as part of an evening meal, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                    • Growing obesity rates could be encouraging consumers to buy low-fat products
                                                      • Figure 31: Consumers who have bought low-fat products for themselves or others in the household to have as part of an evening meal, by gender, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                    • As flexitarian diets continue, more seek out vegetarian foods
                                                      • Figure 32: Consumers who have bought vegetarian products for themselves or others in the household to have as part of an evening meal, by age, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                    • Gluten-free foods on the rise
                                                      • Figure 33: Consumers who have bought gluten-free products for themselves or others in the household to have as part of an evening meal, by gender, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                  • Behaviours towards Meal Preparation

                                                      • Meal preparation typically consists of whatever ingredients are at home
                                                        • Figure 34: Behaviours towards meal preparation and cooking, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                      • Locally sourced ingredients important when meal prepping
                                                        • Figure 35: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘I cook with locally sourced ingredients when possible’, by age, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                      • Exotic dishes can be difficult to master
                                                        • Figure 36: Consumer agreement with the statements ‘I enjoy trying different cuisines’ and ‘I don't feel confident enough in the kitchen to cook more exotic cuisines (eg Korean, Lebanese)’, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                        • Figure 37: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘I don't feel confident enough in the kitchen to cook more exotic cuisines (eg Korean, Lebanese)’, by age, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                      • Social isolation becoming an issue at dinner time
                                                        • Figure 38: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘I eat most of my evening meals in front of the TV’, by living arrangement, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                    • Attitudes towards Meal Preparations

                                                        • Foods makes you happy
                                                          • Figure 39: Agreement with statements related to meal preparation and food, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                        • Women more likely to see the merit in learning to cook
                                                          • Figure 40: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘Learning how to cook is important for developing a healthy attitude towards food’, by gender, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                          • Figure 41: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘It is important to make time for a proper evening meal’, by gender, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                        • Scratch cooking seen as ‘greener’
                                                          • Figure 42: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘Cooking from scratch is more environmentally friendly than using prepared meals’, by age, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                        • Restaurants should automatically offer leftovers
                                                          • Figure 43: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘Restaurants should reduce food waste by automatically offering your leftovers to take home’, by working status, NI and RoI, September 2019
                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                        • Data sources
                                                          • Generational cohort definitions
                                                            • Abbreviations

                                                            Evening Meal Preferences - Ireland - October 2019

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