We don’t like cooking – but are doing it more often
Price a major factor in grocery shopping
Only 18% of Irish adults said they would enjoy having a dinner party where they did all the cooking. Photograph: Getty Images
New research has found that we are cooking from scratch more than before but, while we are growing in confidence in the kitchen, we appear to be reluctant dinner party hosts.
Some 67 per cent of Irish people surveyed said they cooked meals from scratch several times per week, up from 56 per cent in 2005, according to a Periscope study for Bord Bia comparing Irish consumers’ behaviours and attitudes to grocery shopping and meal preparation with those in nine other countries.
Almost 60 per cent said they had a “high” level of confidence in the kitchen, up from 46 per cent in 2005. The research found that just 27 per cent of Irish people saw cooking as good fun, however, placing us, alongside the Dutch, at the bottom of that table.
Only 18 per cent of Irish adults said they would enjoy having a dinner party where they did all the cooking, compared with 27 per cent of British people.
Irish and Spanish people were the highest attenders of cookery classes with 12 per cent of the Irish saying they had taken cooking classes in the past three years.
Despite the recent fascination with baking programmes, 55 per cent of Irish adults surveyed said they had never baked from scratch.
The research found that people were increasingly price- conscious during grocery shopping. Some 64 per cent of Irish consumers said price was the first thing they looked for when grocery shopping. New Zealand was the only country to put a greater emphasis on that aspect.
However, 79 cent of Irish people said the quality of fresh food was more important than price. This put Ireland at the top of that league.
The research also found that the provenance of food was a priority for Irish consumers, and 70 per cent said it was important to buy local food, up from 50 per cent in 2005. Ireland was second only to France (at 73 per cent) in prioritising local food.
Bord Bia’s insight and brand manager Paula Donoghue said economic reality in recent years had led many people to reconsider what’s important. “For so many people, food features prominently, whether it’s preparing meals for the family or entertaining friends,” she said.
“Insight such as this assists companies to be outward-looking, future-focused and consumer-driven to anticipate changes in consumers’ lives, whilst allowing the organisation to make plans for change and act as a catalyst for innovation.”
The study found that fewer than seven in 10 Irish adults surveyed consumed alcohol, similar to Britain. “Of those consuming alcohol, those drinking daily/ several times a week in Great Britain is twice as high as in the Republic of Ireland, at 50 per cent,” it said. Consumption had fallen to the lowest figures since the research began in 2001.
The Bord Bia research also found that we still have not embraced online grocery shopping. Just 9 per cent of Irish people surveyed said they had bought groceries online compared with 30 per cent of Spanish respondents.
And it found that attitudes towards convenience meals across all countries were becoming increasingly negative. Some 35 per cent of Irish respondents said they were eating convenience meals less often than 12 months ago.
The Bord Bia Periscope study was conducted by Ipsos MRBI. The survey included Britain, Europe, the US and New Zealand. It involved 10,000 respondents, 1,000 of whom were Irish.