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Research Highlights Irish Attitudes Towards Diet, Grocery Shopping & Cooking

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Research Highlights Irish Attitudes Towards Diet, Grocery Shopping & Cooking

Research Highlights Irish Attitudes Towards Diet, Grocery Shopping & Cooking
August 02
09:31 2017

New research from Bord Bia’s Insight Centre, The Thinking House, highlights Irish consumer attitudes towards diet, grocery shopping, eating habits and cooking. Since 2001, Bord Bia’s PERIscope study, the largest quantitative study of its kind in Ireland, has been exploring consumer attitudes  including local food, the environment, and health and well-being. The comprehensive study is carried out across 8 countries – Ireland and the UK, four Continental European markets, along with the US and China –and involves over 8,000 interviews.

Grace Binchy, Consumer Insight Manager at Bord Bia, comments: “This level of knowledge and consumer understanding allows our food and drink producers, selling at home and abroad, to make well informed business decisions that serve customers’ needs better. For instance, we know that nearly 70% of those surveyed want help to eat well. With this in mind, manufacturers should consider how they can help people to do just that, as well as digest nutritional labelling, create convenience in their lives and address changing perceptions around sustainability.”  

Research Highlights in Ireland

Health and Wellbeing

Health and wellbeing continues to be a major trend globally and Irish people have a positive perception of their own health, with 88% recognising it is important to eat well and acknowledging a link between diet and mental wellbeing.

  • Overall Bord Bia found very few people follow an eating regime, with 4 in 10 saying they believe in eating a balanced diet.
  • People believe their eating habits are becoming healthier, with one third saying they are eating healthily.
  • Half of people claim to be confused about what we should eat to be while some 60% say nutritional claims and food labels are hard to understand.
  • The perception of ‘low fat’ as a healthy choice is experiencing decline, down from 71% in 2006 to 58%
  • Sugar is also under pressure with 59% checking for sugar content and this rises 71% are conscious of their children’s sugar intake.
  • Some 94% saying that they try to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables
  • Over 80% (84%) are trying to eat high fibre foods while 88% see protein as an important part of their diet
  • People are trying to eat less sugar and bad fat (98%), salt (96%), soft drinks (92%) and breads, cereals, rice and pasta (64%). Meat creates divided opinion with 49% saying they are eating less while 51% are consuming more.
  • The majority of parents claim they try to make sure their children have a balanced diet, however four in ten admit it is hard to get kids to eat vegetables.
  • Fewer parents than ever before are concerned about childhood obesity, falling from 35% in 2007 to 21%.

Cooking Confidence and Eating Habits

  • Some 25% of men are solely responsible for cooking in the home.
  • Only 3 in 10 people are confident that they could produce a good Sunday roast, yet cooking from scratch is showing growth over time rising from 46% in 2005 to 69%.
  • We love breakfast more than before! While 32% say they rarely have time for a proper breakfast, this is in contrast to 2005 where nearly half did not have a proper breakfast.
  • 24% are entertaining at home more often
  • 40% eat takeaway once a week
  • Three quarters of Irish people eat their main meal in the kitchen in comparison to 25% of those in the UK, who claim to eat in the living room / lounge.
  • Half of people bring in their own lunch to work, with less people now going out for lunch.

Price, Local Food and Convenience

  • The results in relation to value and price sensitivity suggest a softening of the desire to focus on price since the height of the recession.  Price is back at 2005 level with 52% saying the first thing they look at is price (this was at 60% in 2015).
  • The importance of buying local peaked during the recession at 73% and now rests at 67%.
  • Checking for country of origin (78%) and quality symbols (75% up by 20% since 2001) is increasingly important to us.
  • According to respondents, picking food that are easy to prepare (77%) and quick to cook (69%) are important considerations.

Going Green

  • Irish people are embracing all things green and becoming more environmentally conscious, having increased to 61% from 56% in 2007.
  • One in two of us are concerned with the amount of food we throw away.
  • Half of Irish consumers claim to always buy brands that use environmentally sensitive packaging.

Visit www.bordbia.ie/PERIscope2017 to access the full reports and country summaries.

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