Only 50 per cent of Kiwis cook at home - survey

Aimee Shaw, NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Monday, 22 April 2019, 8:49AM
A survey of 500 New Zealanders of all ages and regions found that 15 per cent of Kiwis eat out at a restaurant weekly and 29 per cent opt for a takeaway weekly. Photo / Getty Images.

Just half of New Zealanders say they cook at home daily, and a home-cooked meal is most popular with old generations, a report commissioned by ridesharing company Uber reveals.

A survey of 500 New Zealanders of all ages and regions found that 15 per cent of Kiwis eat out at a restaurant weekly and 29 per cent opt for a takeaway weekly.

The report was conducted by Empirca Research on behalf of San Francisco-based Uber - the company runs food delivery service Uber Eats in New Zealand.

Seven per cent said they order food to be delivered via an app or online service weekly.

Three-quarters of New Zealanders surveyed said they believed cooking at home was the best option but just 59 per cent of people said they enjoyed cooking, with dinner found to be the meal most commonly dreaded to cook.

New Zealanders living alone were found to be less enthusiastic about cooking compared to those living with others.

Breakfast was also found to be the meal most Kiwis skipped, and brunch was the meal of choice by millennials - especially on the weekends.

Massey University associate professor, Carol Wham, told Tim Dower busy lifestyles and cheaper takeaways are both contributing to the decline in home-cooking.

"It's about people feeling really busy and looking for convenience."

However, she said while it might not seem like an issue, our reliance on takeaways is hurting our health.

"We know that not eating a good diet is the biggest contributor to the burden of disease and what we really need to do is get back to eating whole foods and that means whoke grains, fruit and vegetables and less salt."

"This is about people not having the skills to quickly prepare an affordable, tasty meal."

She said children need to be taught how to cook from a young age so they can carry those skills into adulthood.

"We have to have children involved in going shopping and preparing foods and growing foods and actually having kids really enthusiastic about preparing foods and growing up that way, so that when they are young parents their children role model off of them because otherwise, we are in real trouble."

Around 57 per cent of New Zealanders ranked convenience as a top priority, and said they choose foods that were easily available and quick to prepare. 70 per cent of New Zealanders eat dinner in front of the TV at least once a week, 35 per cent do so regularly.

Wham said eating as a family is really important when it comes to engaging children with cooking.

"The pressures of life are getting a bit much, but I think it's about making that little bit of preparation time to sit around and have a meal together in the evenings and role modelling to children about why this is good fun, really enjoyable and can be really tasty."

When asked whether we should bring back home economics, she said yes.

"Maybe not home ec as we knew it but all about understanding sustainable food systems, why it's important to eat whole foods, just the basic skills of budgeting and making good food affordable."

Other findings from the report show less than one third of New Zealanders regularly read nutritional labels and 15 per cent of people never pack food from home for lunch.

Most people surveyed said they preferred to dine out in small groups.

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