Cooking makes a comeback and this time, we're doing it in style
While once dinner for many meant simply piercing the plastic film and waiting for the ping, latest research from MINTEL finds that real cooking is back on the menu in Britain's kitchens. Indeed, back in 2003, fewer than one in four (24%) Brits said that they 'always cooked from scratch', but today this has risen to as many as two in five (41%). What is more, only 11% of us now regularly use the microwave to cook an evening meal.
"It is clear that Brits are keen to get back in the kitchen and rekindle their love affair with good old fashioned home-cooked fare," comments Richard Caines, senior homewares specialist at MINTEL. "One of the main reasons for this is our growing interest in eating more healthily as we move away from pre-prepared meals and look to eat freshly made dishes that are better for you."
Many of us are also expanding our culinary repertoire, as three in ten (29%) adults are always willing to try new and more exciting recipes and one in five (19%) like to create authentic ethnic meals.
Sticking around: Posh pots and pans
By the end of the year, we will have bought no less than 88.5 million new pots, pans and kitchen knives, 6.4 million (8%) more than we did in 2003. Brits will fork out just shy of £0.5 billion (£487 million) on the tools of the trade, up 14% in the last five years (2003 - 2008), spending more on cookware than ever before.
"The fact that volume sales have not increased as fast as the amount we spend means that Brits are clearly becoming more sophisticated and opting for premium cookware." explains Richard Caines.
Mintel's consumer research shows that people are increasingly realising the value of investing a little more in a quality product, with 31% believing that for successful meals, good cookware is essential. Meanwhile, almost half (47%) believe that it is worth paying more for quality, while only 33% look for special offers and just 18% wait for the sales.
"Not only are Brits looking to cook more, they are also happy to spend more doing it. Innovative designs, the emphasis on quality and better branding are all encouraging a revival in up-market kitchenware, with companies like Professional Cookware and Lakeland selling at higher prices and the Le Creuset range expanding beyond its cast-iron niche," comments Richard Caines.