Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

UK Attitudes towards Cooking in the Home market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Attitudes towards Cooking in the Home market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Topics covered in this Report

This Report looks at consumers’ behaviours and attitudes related to cooking in the home. It explores how households cook most often, the behaviour of home cooks, the factors most important in determining choice of meals for everyday and leisure occasions and attitudes towards cooking.

What you need to know

Despite the time-pressed lifestyles of many consumers, cooking at home remains an integral part of how Britain feeds itself. The preference for cooking over prepared meals, combined with the importance attached to everyday meals being quick and easy to prepare, fuels considerable demand for products that offer shortcuts when preparing/cooking meals, and prepared options that replicate scratch cooking when people are most pressed for time.

Britain’s home cooks are largely set in their ways in terms of having a fairly small repertoire of meals, but this is partly because many of them find it hard to think of different meals to cook. Long lists of ingredients or expensive ingredients are barriers to trying new recipes, so a focus on meals put together with a limited number of affordable ingredients will be important for brands and retailers in appealing to people looking for more meal inspiration.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Richard Caines, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

People’s preference for cooking over prepared meals, and for meals which are quick and easy to prepare, fuels considerable demand for products offering shortcuts to preparing/cooking meals. Home cooks are also looking for more meal inspiration when doing their grocery shopping, and retailers can help here through offering more bundle offers for meals with a short list of affordable ingredients, and recipe ideas alongside ingredients on promotion. Richard Caines
Senior Food & Drink Analyst

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Ageing population should benefit ingredients
              • Vast majority of meals eaten at home
                • World cuisines having a big impact on cooking
                  • Interest in naturalness and ‘clean eating’ influences meal choice
                    • Meat reduction trend is changing meal choices
                      • Companies and brands
                        • Ease of use a big focus of NPD claims
                          • Meal kits offer convenient route to scratch cooking
                            • Bigger focus on premium in prepared meals
                              • ‘Flexitarian’ and vegan products are increasing
                                • Supermarket campaigns focus on love of cooking
                                  • The consumer
                                    • Cooking/meal preparation relevant to vast majority of population
                                      • More than four in 10 mostly cook from scratch for evening meals
                                        • Figure 1: Type of evening meal cooked/prepared most often in household, April 2018
                                      • Majority of people shop with specific meals in mind
                                        • Weekly meal choices fairly fixed in most homes
                                          • Figure 2: Behaviours related to cooking at home, April 2018
                                        • Ease of preparation top consideration for everyday meals
                                          • More room for indulgence for leisure occasions
                                            • Figure 3: Factors most important when cooking/preparing a meal for an everyday occasion or for a leisure occasion, April 2018
                                          • Roasting, pan frying and boiling are top cooking methods
                                            • Figure 4: Cooking methods used to cook/prepare meals most often, April 2018
                                          • Ready-to-cook shortcuts have strong appeal
                                            • Strong demand for more recipe ideas
                                              • Most people get enjoyment from cooking
                                                • Figure 5: Attitudes towards cooking at home, April 2018
                                              • What we think
                                              • Issues and Insights

                                                • Room for brands and retailers to help home cooks with planning meals for the week
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                      • Overcoming barriers to expanding meal repertoires through focusing on factors influencing meal choice
                                                        • The facts
                                                          • The implications
                                                            • A range of products can help offer shortcuts to scratch cooking
                                                              • The facts
                                                                • The implications
                                                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                                  • Ageing population should benefit ingredients
                                                                    • Vast majority of main meals eaten at home
                                                                      • Growth in real incomes could mean people dining out a bit more
                                                                        • ‘Foodies’ represent a large group of engaged consumers
                                                                          • World cuisines having a big influence on cooking
                                                                            • Interest in naturalness and ‘clean eating’ influences meal choice
                                                                              • Meat reduction trend is changing meal choices
                                                                              • Market Drivers

                                                                                • Ageing population should benefit ingredients
                                                                                  • Figure 6: Trends in age structure of the UK population, 2012-22
                                                                                • Dining out only has limited effect on spending for cooking at home
                                                                                  • Figure 7: Frequency of eating out or ordering a takeaway/home delivery in the past month, April 2018
                                                                                  • Figure 8: Annual rate of CPI inflation for food and catering, Q1 2017-Q1 2018
                                                                                • Saving money a major driver for scratch cooking
                                                                                  • ‘Foodies’ represent a large group of engaged consumers
                                                                                    • Popularity of world cuisines has a big influence on cooking
                                                                                      • Interest in naturalness and ‘clean eating’ influences meal choice
                                                                                        • Meat reduction trend is changing meal choices
                                                                                        • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                          • Ease of use a big focus of NPD claims in protein categories
                                                                                            • Cook-in-the-bag and slow-cooked dishes see more launches
                                                                                              • Meal kits offer convenient route to scratch cooking
                                                                                                • ‘Easy’ ingredients seen to offer a shortcut for scratch cooking
                                                                                                  • Bigger focus on premium in prepared meals
                                                                                                    • Catering for those looking for their 5-a-day
                                                                                                      • ‘Flexitarian’ and vegan products are increasing
                                                                                                        • Supermarket campaigns focus on love of cooking
                                                                                                          • Promoting the benefits of frozen and canned foods
                                                                                                            • Meat and poultry marketing focuses on recipes and ease of cooking
                                                                                                            • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                              • Ease of use a big focus of NPD claims in protein categories
                                                                                                                • Figure 9: New product launches in the processed fish, meat & egg products markets making ease-of-use and time/speed claims, share of launches, 2013-18
                                                                                                              • Ready-to-cook and easy-to-cook dishes offer convenience
                                                                                                                • Figure 10: Examples of product launches making ease-of-use claims, 2017-18
                                                                                                              • Cook-in-the-bag continues to see launches
                                                                                                                • Figure 11: Examples of cook-in-the-bag product launches, 2017-18
                                                                                                              • Slow-cooked dishes cut cooking time
                                                                                                                • Figure 12: Examples of new products in slow-cooked ranges, 2017 -18
                                                                                                              • Meal kits offer convenient route to scratch cooking
                                                                                                                • Chilled meal kits attract NPD
                                                                                                                  • Figure 13: Examples of launches of chilled meal kits by major retailers, 2017-18
                                                                                                                • Meal kits continue to target world cuisines
                                                                                                                  • Figure 14: Examples of launches of ambient meals kits for world foods, 2017-18
                                                                                                                • ‘Easy’ ingredients seen to offer a shortcut for scratch cooking
                                                                                                                  • Figure 15: Examples of launches of shortcut ingredients, 2017-18
                                                                                                                • Bigger focus on premium in prepared meals
                                                                                                                  • Figure 16: New product launches in the prepared meals and pizzas making premium claims, share of launches, 2013-18
                                                                                                                  • Figure 17: Examples of products launched under Sainsbury’s ‘The Supper Club’ range, 2018
                                                                                                                  • Figure 18: Examples of launches making premium claims in prepared meals, 2017-18
                                                                                                                • Catering for those looking for their 5-a-day
                                                                                                                  • Figure 19: Examples of ready meals launches making ‘5-a-day’ claims, 2018
                                                                                                                • ‘Flexitarian’ and vegan products are increasing
                                                                                                                  • Figure 20: Examples of ‘flexitarian’ and vegan food launches, 2017-18
                                                                                                              • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                • Supermarket campaigns focus on love of cooking
                                                                                                                  • Tesco Food Love Stories focus on customer recipes
                                                                                                                    • Sainsbury’s runs Food Dancing campaign
                                                                                                                      • New Beautifully Simple campaign from Waitrose
                                                                                                                        • Co-op focuses on bringing people together with food
                                                                                                                          • Campaigns promoting the benefits of frozen
                                                                                                                            • ‘Power of Frozen’ from Iceland extols frozen fish
                                                                                                                              • Birds Eye in new advertising push to encourage children to eat vegetables
                                                                                                                                • £5 million campaign for Young’s frozen fish features premium products and quick family meals
                                                                                                                                  • Princes pushes canned foods for cooking
                                                                                                                                    • Brands look to encourage cooking of world cuisines at home
                                                                                                                                      • Blue Dragon focuses on recreating Asian cuisines
                                                                                                                                        • Table sauces showcase versatility for cooking
                                                                                                                                          • Getting more people cooking Caribbean, a focus on the social aspect of Mexican food
                                                                                                                                            • Branston positions pickle as a cooking ingredient
                                                                                                                                              • Knorr Flavour for All campaign raises issue of food poverty
                                                                                                                                                • Meat and poultry marketing focuses on recipes and ease of cooking
                                                                                                                                                  • AHDB promotes “midweek” pork loin medallions
                                                                                                                                                    • Support for thin-cut steak continues focus on midweek meals
                                                                                                                                                      • QMS focuses on ease of cooking
                                                                                                                                                        • Asda spotlights hassle-free roast-in-bag chicken 
                                                                                                                                                          • New marketing showcases ease of cooking with Quorn
                                                                                                                                                            • Charlie Bigham’s promotes ready meals as shortcuts to weekday meals
                                                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                              • Cooking/meal preparation relevant to vast majority of population
                                                                                                                                                                • More than four in 10 mostly cook from scratch for evening meals
                                                                                                                                                                  • Majority of people shop with specific meals in mind
                                                                                                                                                                    • Weekly meal choices fairly fixed in most homes
                                                                                                                                                                      • Ease of preparation top consideration for everyday meals
                                                                                                                                                                        • More room for indulgence for leisure occasions
                                                                                                                                                                          • Roasting, pan frying and boiling are top cooking methods
                                                                                                                                                                            • Ready-to-cook shortcuts have strong appeal
                                                                                                                                                                              • Strong demand for more recipe ideas
                                                                                                                                                                                • Most people get enjoyment from cooking
                                                                                                                                                                                • Responsibility for Cooking

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Only 11% of adults have little responsibility for cooking/preparing meals
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Responsibility for cooking/preparing meals in household, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Traditional patterns of household responsibilities still linger
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Many men feel they bear the responsibility in the kitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Under-25s play a lesser role in the kitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Responsibility for cooking/preparing meals, by gender and age, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Scratch Cooking and Use of Prepared Meals

                                                                                                                                                                                      • More than four in 10 mostly cook from scratch for evening meals
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Type of evening meal cooked/prepared most often in household, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Over-55s cook from scratch the most
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Prepared meals feature most for under-25s and men
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Type of evening meal cooked/prepared most often in household, by age, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Behaviour Related to Cooking at Home

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Majority of people shop with specific meals in mind
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Three quarters of people look to use up leftovers
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Behaviours related to cooking at home, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Weekly meal choices fairly fixed in most homes...
                                                                                                                                                                                            • 16-24s and one-person households are most stuck in a rut and keen on inspiration
                                                                                                                                                                                              • …but new meals are being added to those eaten regularly
                                                                                                                                                                                                • ‘Flexitarian’ trend is changing meals
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Avoidance of recipes with expensive or too many ingredients is common
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Recipes with expensive ingredients put off women more
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Meal kits that save on preparation time being tried
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Factors Most Important When Cooking Meals for Everyday and Leisure Occasions

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ease of preparation top consideration for everyday meals
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Factors most important when cooking/preparing a meal for an everyday occasion or for a leisure occasion, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Being healthy influences meal choice for two in five
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • More room for indulgence on leisure occasions
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cooking Methods Used Most Often

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Roasting, pan frying and boiling are top cooking methods
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Cooking methods used to cook/prepare meals most often, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Variations in cooking methods between men and women
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Cooking methods used to cook/prepare meals most often, by gender, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards Cooking

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Ready-to-cook shortcuts have strong appeal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Attitudes towards cooking at home, April 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Strong demand for more recipe ideas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Most people get enjoyment from cooking
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer research methodology