Growing interest in at-home cooking is set to continue strongly as 91 per cent of the Brits intend to cook the same amount, or more, over the year ahead, a new report finds.
The Premier Foods Kitchen Cooking Index, which looks at the nation’s cooking habits and mealtime occasions, has also found that people are experimenting more in the kitchen, with one third of households on average adding a dish to their weekly ‘go-to’ evening meals over the last year – the biggest increase in five years.
Neatly three fourths (73%) said they have enjoyed cooking meals at home over the past 12 months, and enjoyment (42%) is the top driver as to why people plan to cook more at home. Other big drivers include the cost saving potential (58%) and the health benefits (55%).
Health remains a key priority for the Brits, according to the report, with 81 per cent of people want to eat more healthily this year.
While the classics have continued to be popular, lighter options such as fish and potatoes, as well as meat free dishes such as vegetarian curry and vegetarian pasta are amongst the dishes that have seen the fastest growth since the start of the pandemic.
Overall, the trend towards vegan and vegetarian meals also continued to grow: with plant-based (vegan) meals up 46 per cent compared to the previous year, and vegetarian up 25 per cent.
Households have also looked to try new things and incorporate different flavours, as chutneys and relishes, world ingredients (such as poppadom and curry pastes), and cooking sauces have all featured more frequently in our evening meals, up by 32 per cewnt, 23per cent and 11 per cent respectively.
“It’s great to see Britain reconnect with cooking again, spending more time in the kitchen to experiment with different flavours and create new, often healthier dishes, for ourselves and our loved ones,” Alex Whitehouse, Premier Foods chief executive, commented.
“But perhaps more importantly, it seems we are really enjoying it. While the last year has been difficult for people across the country, for many, cooking and enjoying meals together has become a really important part of getting through it. What is great to see is that, even when we look ahead to a time when things have returned to normal, the majority of us want to keep cooking the same amount or more.”
Most Popular Evening Dishes during the Pandemic
Dish and % of total evening meal occasions
- Italian Food (Pasta/Risotto) 11.2%
- Roast Dinners 5.7%
- Indian Food 4.9%
- Oriental Food (incl. Thai) 4.5%
- Sandwiches 3.7%
- Vegetarian Dishes 3.4%
- Mexican Food 2.6%
- Mince Dishes 2.4%
- Salad 2.1%
- Stew/Casserole 2.1%
Fastest Growing Evening Dishes during the Pandemic
- Fish & Potatoes
- Vegetarian Curry
- Chicken & Mash
- Chicken & Potatoes
- Southern Fried Chicken
- Pie & Chips
- Vegetarian Pasta
- Pie & Mash
Source: Kantar Usage panel, savoury foods at lunch/evening meal, in home & carried out, 36 w/e 29 Nov 20 vs previous year