8 years ago





52% of Brits can confidently cook 10 or more dishes, 10% of population can’t cook any including 1 in 7 men

48% still eat together every day

1 in 5 have two or more screens on while we eat

Roast dinner the UK’s most popular dish

The majority of the UK population can now confidently cook 10 or more recipes from scratch, but a shocking one in ten (equating to five million adults) are unable to cook any, including 16% of men. This is one of the key findings of one of the largest food surveys ever, conducted by YouGov to mark BBC Good Food’s 25th anniversary. The survey takes a detailed look at our relationship with food from cooking ability to eating habits to food issues.

The survey of more than 10,000 respondents reveals a nation of traditionalists, with roast dinner our most popular dish, tea our most popular hot drink and fish and chips more popular than pizza or an Indian takeaway. Those who said they were better at cooking were also happier doing it and almost 50% of us still sit down for a meal together as a household every single day. 67% of us do this in front of a screen and one in five of us have two or more screens on while eating.

Some of the key findings include:


52% can confidently cook 10 or more dishes from scratch with an impressive 32% claiming to cook 20 or more.

10% of the population, equating to five million adults*, cannot cook any dishes from scratch. This breaks down as 16% of all men and 5% of women.

• Yorkshire is the region most confident in its cooking ability with 20% of people rating themselves 8/10. Wales is least confident with only 14% scoring themselves 8 and over, just behind Scotland on 15%

36% of those surveyed had felt happy in the past week when cooking but this rises to 57% for those who rate themselves 8 out of 10 and above.

Food habits

• The microwave is the item people can’t live without, according to 56% of respondents, ahead of kitchen knives (51%) and a toaster (47%).

• Roast dinner is the most popular dish, with 50% cooking one at least once a month, ahead of spaghetti bolognaise (49%) and curry (43%).

41% named tea their favourite morning drink, ahead of coffee 29%

• Chinese is Britain’s favourite takeway, just ahead of fish and chips*.

48% still eat together every day.


• 31% eat meat every day. However 15% now eat less meat than we did a year ago in an attempt to spend less money on food.

• Only 19% are more likely to visit a local butcher as a result of the horsemeat scandal

42% think locally sourced food is of higher quality.

65% said they only sometimes, rarely or never visited their local high streets food shops. Of these people, cost was highlighted as the biggest reason (40%).

According to Gillian Carter, Editor BBC Good Food Magazine:

“This research, carried out by YouGov on behalf of Good Food paints a fascinating picture of our relationship with food in 2014.

Traditional trends are prevalent – something we’ve seen in recent years with the increased interest in home baking. This theme, along with a concern about the cost of living is driving the move to comfort food: the survey reveals that the roast dinner is our most cooked meal, and tea is still the nation’s favourite breakfast beverage.

What is of concern is that five million respondents say they are unable to cook a single recipe. We know that cooking is a feelgood activity, with large numbers of respondents saying they felt happy, comforted or inspired when cooking, so the more we can encourage people to cook, the better.  BBC Good Food has been inspiring the nation to cook for 25 years, and we think we can take some responsibility for making the UK a happier place.”

Hannah Williams, Digital Editor BBC Good Food adds:

“Over the next twelve months Good Food is on a mission to boost the nation’s culinary skills and enjoyment of food. Good Food is the go to place for everything you need from recipes and cooking for families to foodie travel or locally sourced food.”   

According to chef and BBC Good Food contributor Tom Kerridge: “We can see that overall the nation’s cooking ability is good, but there seems to be a group who haven’t ever learned the basics, including a disproportionate number of men. Cooking needn’t be a big chore and is something everyone can learn the basics of and enjoy. I’ve got ten core skills that every beginner should learn that I’m sharing with bbcgoodfood.com.

 BBC Good Food’s celebratory redesigned birthday magazine issue looks at the findings in its issue on general sale on Wednesday 1 October, priced at £3.90. bbcgoodfood.com, the UK’s number one food website has a series of articles on improving our cooking ability, including Tom’s ten ways to be a better chef.


Notes to editors  

For more information please contact Toby Hicks, Head of Communications, BBCGoodFood on 020-7150-5016 or email toby.hicks@immediate.co.uk

About the survey

BBC Good Food Nation is a rolling survey of the UK’s eating, drinking and shopping habits to deliver fresh insights, advice and fool-proof recipes to make us all better cooks. Kickstarted by one of the UK’s biggest ever food studies of 10,000 UK respondents, commissioned by BBC Good Food and conducted by YouGov, BBC Good Food will be regularly testing the nation’s pulse of all things foodie related, delving deep to uncover trends, regional and demographic differences and also all the barriers people cite preventing them from being proficient, happy cooks.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 10287 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21th – 29th July 2014.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 16+).

*Total sample size was 2059 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 03rd – 04th September 2014.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 16+). BBC Good Food calculations based on ONS 2012 population estimate of 50,280,100 adults aged 16+ in Great Britain. 10% selected “none” when asked how many recipes they can confidently cook from scratch. 

About BBC Good Food

BBC Good Food has been the cooks’ choice for 25 years. It’s the UK’s most popular food media brand with a total brand reach of 10 million people.

Good Food is proud owner of the UK’s market leading food magazine and digital edition, the UK’s number 1 food website, an expanding number of live events, including the UK’s largest food event – the BBCGoodFood Show Winter at the Birmingham N.E.C – and a hugely successful series of cookbooks.

Every recipe published by BBC Good Food is triple tested by the in-house cookery team in the Good Food kitchen. And the brand offers more than just trusted recipe content: BBC Good Food is the ‘Go To’ destination on everything to do with food, whether that’s inspiration, help and advice, skills, reviews or ideas, for areas spanning foodie travel, local and seasonal, and getting children cooking. #gotogoodfood

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