Don’t Come Dine With Me
Latest report reveals nearly 19 million Austerity-hit Brits shun entertainment dining blaming time, stress and expense
We’ve all watched Come Dine With Me and thought we could do better than some of the clumsy cooks! But although we love experimenting in the kitchen, our tightened purse strings mean we’re ditching the dinner party, finding the stress and expense all too much, according to the Very Lazy Cooking Census.
The report from cooking ingredients specialists Very Lazy, conducted by YouGov who surveyed 2,070 Brits nationwide, revealed that the majority of us (47%) use a shortcut or two when cooking, à la Come Dine With Me, and 42% of us love to cook new dishes. However despite this, a staggering 18.5  million of us (38%) don’t host dinner parties very often as they involve too much time and money. 27% of people said that they avoid them completely because they are too stressful.
The Very Lazy Cooking Census surveyed people about their cooking habits and kitchen know-how. It found that whilst we’re a nation of confident cooks with more than three quarters (78%) of us saying we’re very or fairly confident in our cooking ability, a lot of us aren’t too clued up on our cuisine. Just 7% of the UK could identify three ingredients from a well-loved dinner - a traditional Bologna ‘spag bol’ Bolognese sauce. And less than half of us (40%) can make a basic roux sauce.
When it came to foodie know-how, although the TV is awash with male celebrity chefs, men proved to be the most clueless cooks. Whilst half of women said they could make a basic roux sauce, 44% of men admitted to not knowing what one is! Almost a quarter of men (24%) don’t have a clue what root ginger looks like, with a total of 3% mistaking it for either an artichoke, truffle or even garlic! Despite men’s love of food, only a fifth are very confident in their cooking ability – perhaps because 15% of them admit to eating at home but never cooking.
As for cooking habits across the UK, Wales is home to the hardest working cooks with 43% cooking daily, compared to the lazier cooks in the North East where only 18% cook every day. The entertaining capital of the UK is London where 19% love to host dinner parties and Scots proved to be the most adventurous in the kitchen with 48% saying they love to make new dishes. People in the South West are the most organised at 37% when it comes to food planning and Yorkshire and the Humber is home to the most clueless cooks where 24% of people don’t know what root ginger looks like!
Commenting on the results, Very Lazy’s Head Development Chef Rob Cottam says: “It’s great to see that the UK is so confident in the kitchen, even if some of us do need a bit more encouragement! Our food knowledge may need some work but don’t worry! We all have recipe books, friends and family to teach us and there are so many great shortcuts that we can use rather than struggling to remember lots of complicated recipes. So come on Britain, let’s get cooking!”
For a full copy of the report please visit www.verylazy.com
The Very Lazy Cooking Census Fact Files
Top 10 national results
1. More than three quarters (78%) of the UK says it is very confident or fairly confident in its cooking ability.
2. 42% of us love making new dishes but almost 8 million  of us don’t have the time to try out new recipes.
3. Almost 4 million  people in the UK usually buy ready-made meals.
4. The majority of us (47%) use a shortcut or two when cooking.
5. A quarter of the UK says its cooking style resembles Jamie Oliver – quick and tasty food.
6. 27% of us avoid hosting dinner parties as it’s too stressful and 38% don’t do it very often as it’s too much work, time and money.
7. 17% of the UK doesn’t know what root ginger looks like.
8. Around a third of the UK (35%) cooks every day of the week.
9. Only 28% of us do a weekly shop and know what we’re making most nights.
10. Over 19 million  people in the UK think there are mushrooms in a traditional Bolognese sauce – only 7% of people could correctly identify three of the ingredients.
Top 10 men vs women results
1. Half of women can make a basic roux sauce, but 44% of men don’t know what one is.
2. 24% of men don’t have a clue what root ginger looks like, with some mistaking it for an artichoke, truffle and even garlic!
3. Only a fifth of men are very confident in their cooking ability – perhaps because 15% of them admit to eating at home but never cooking.
4. 2.2 million men  think ‘cooking from scratch’ is buying all ready-made ingredients!
5. 43% of women cook seven days a week compared to just 26% of men.
6. Women are more adventurous in the kitchen with 46% saying they love to make new dishes, compared to just 37% of men.
7. 0% of women compared their cooking style to that of Gordon Ramsay’s elegant, fine cuisine style or Heston Blumenthal’s experimental and precise cooking style.
8. Women were bigger fans of hosting dinner parties than men (15% compared to 12%), but also more likely to avoid them due to the time, money and stress involved (40% compared to 36%).
9. 2.2 million  men buy food on a day to day basis.
10. Women were almost twice as likely as men to be able to identify three ingredients in a Bolognese sauce – just 5% of men did this correctly compared to 9% of women.
Top 10 demographic results
1. Retirees proved to be the top culinary whizzes - almost a third (30%) say they are very confident in their cooking ability, and 52% usually cooking from scratch.
2. Students are the least confident cooks but 30% cook every day of the week.
3. Part time workers are 10% more likely than full time workers to cook every day of the week. They are also the most savvy – 48% could make a roux sauce (8% more than the national average).
4. Households with two or more children are most likely to cook every day of the week but still only 37% of them do so.
5. Nearly a third of students (32%) usually cook from scratch – but 13% of them believe that cooking from scratch means buying all the ingredients ready-made!
6. Households with three or more children are most likely to cook using one or two shortcuts with 52%.
7. Over one in five (21%) full time workers say they don’t have time to try out new recipes.
8. Retirees are the least adventurous cooks – 36% prefer to only cook dishes that they already know how to make.
9. 35 to 44 year olds are the most food savvy - best at identifying a picture of root ginger (89%) and three ingredients of a Bolognese sauce (9%).
10. Dinner parties proved most popular amongst households with three or more children – 22% love hosting them compared to the average of just 14%.
Top 10 regional results
1. People in Wales and Northern Ireland are the most hardworking in the kitchen with 43% of people cooking every day of the week.
2. People in Wales are also the least likely to buy ready-made meals – just 4% of people usually do so.
3. London is the dinner party capital of the UK – 19% of people love hosting them.
4. The West Midlands is home to the most confident cooks – 30% of people are very confident in their cooking ability.
5. The laziest cooks are in the North East where just 18% of people cook seven days a week.
6. People in Scotland are the most adventurous in the kitchen – 48% love making new dishes.
7. The least adventurous cooks are in the North West, where 33% of people prefer to make dishes they already know how to cook.
8. People in the South West are the most organised – 37% do a weekly shop and know what they’re making most nights.
9. Yorkshire and the Humber is home to the most clueless cooks – 24% don’t know what root ginger looks like.
10. People in the East of England are the busiest, with 22% saying they don’t have time to try new recipes.
Notes to editors
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2070 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th and 19th March 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
 The population figures are calculated using the 2010 ONS population figures for those aged 18+. Total UK population: 62,262,000. Total UK population aged 18+ is 49,122,200. So 37.69% of 49,122,200 = 18,514,157 (rounded to 18.5 million people)
 15.67% of 49,122,200 = 7,697,449 (rounded to 8 million people)
 7.98% of 49,122,200 = 3,919,952 (rounded to 4 million people)
 39.49% of 49,122,200 = 19,398,357 (rounded to 19 million people)
 The population figures are calculated using the 2010 ONS population figures for those aged 18+. Total male UK population aged 18+: 23,913,000. 9.21% of 23,913,000 = 2,202,387 (rounded to 2.2 million males) and total female 18+ UK population: 25,209,200
 9.09% of 23,913,000 = 2,173,691 million (rounded to 2.2 million males)
About Very Lazy
Very Lazy, cooking ingredients specialists are part of English Provender Company. The Very Lazy brand, launched in the early 1990s, is aimed at people who have busy lives but still demand good quality, homemade food in a matter of minutes. The Very Lazy range includes chopped ingredients and pastes (garlic, chillies and ginger) and eight 20-minute cooking concentrates with popular British classics updated, such as Posh Sausage to more exotic tastes with Caribbean Chicken proving a best seller.
With the strapline, ‘Great Food at your Fingertips’, Very Lazy is available to buy at supermarkets including Asda, Tesco, Co-op, Morrisons and Sainsburys and online at www.verylazy.com.
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