Waitrose’s Cooking Report reveals that ‘We’re a nation of quietly confident cooks.
Today, our ‘Cooking Report’ has been published, revealing that the UK is home to a population of quietly confident cooks. More than one-third of respondents (35%) rated themselves as’very good’ or ‘excellent’ cooks, while 45% considered themselves ‘fairly good’ in the kitchen.
Interestingly, one-third of UK adults even believe they are better cooks than their own parents. However, despite this high level of confidence, over one in four UK adults has never boiled an egg and lacks basic cooking skills.
Furthermore, only 18% have made a salad dressing, and just 45% have baked a Victoria sponge cake.
The Waitrose’s Cooking report also highlighted the impact of the cost of living crisis on cooking habits. Nearly two-fifths of UK adults expressed a desire to spend more time in the kitchen.
The main motivations for cooking were to prioritize health and to enjoy experimenting with new flavors and recipes. In addition, one-third of UK adults turned to cooking as a way to stick to a budget and save money.
Due to financial pressures, one in five respondents reported entertaining more at home. Many were willing to choose cheaper cuts of meat and more affordable ingredients when entertaining.
Some were even open to economizing during the week to allocate more resources to hosting guests, while 7% were comfortable asking friends to bring a dish or course.
Waitrose’s Cooking Report also revealed kitchen gadgets that people couldn’t live without. While air fryers have gained popularity, the humble microwave topped the list, with nearly three times as many people saying they couldn’t live without it compared to air fryers.
This preference for microwaves is reflected in increased searches for “microwave meals” on waitrose.com and a rise in microwave sales at John Lewis.
The report also delved into kitchen confessions, with respondents admitting to common mistakes such as letting pans boil over, burning dishes to the point of setting off smoke alarms, and overcooking food.
Interestingly, some respondents admitted to unconventional practices, including ignoring sell-by dates, applying the ‘five-second rule’ for dropped food, and scraping mold off food before consuming or cooking with it.
The changing landscape of entertainment was explored as well, with many respondents considering the term ‘dinner party’ to be old-fashioned. Effortless casualness and quick, easy-to-cook food were prioritized. Instead of formal plated starters, options like charcuterie boards, buffets, or Middle Eastern mezze-style dishes were favored, allowing guests to serve themselves.
Overall, Waitrose’s Cooking Report highlighted the evolving cooking habits and preferences of UK adults. It emphasized the need for convenience, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness in the kitchen while celebrating the joy of cooking and entertaining.