While the traditional roast remains the firm favourite dish for bringing families round the dinner table, international meals are on the rise.
New research by Sainsbury’s also found that Sunday is still the most popular day for the family to gather for a meal, with 71% of those surveyed coming together on a weekly basis on this day. But the 2,000 consumers taking part also revealed a trend to eat together more often.
Asked about the top 10 dishes that bring the family together, almost three-quarters of the sample plumped for a roast dinner. But dishes that require families to assemble meals with their fingers, play around with sauces and garnishes and pass numerous bowls across the table were deemed better for creating conversation and injecting fun.
Bringing up the rear after the top-ranking roast, the family favourites are: spaghetti bolognese and fish and chips, each picked by 35%; Chinese and curry, 33% each; sausage and mash, 30%; shepherd’s pie, 29%; English breakfast, 28%; fajitas, 23%; and chilli con carne, 20%.
Sainsbury’s says the research shows that frugal times mean families are resisting restaurants and dining together more frequently. Thirty-two per cent of those questioned are now eating together as a family seven days a week, while 23% stated that their New Year’s resolution was to eat together more often.
Not all families are enjoying more quality time together around the dining table, though. Londoners fall behind the rest of the UK, blaming hectic lifestyles for an actual decline in family mealtimes.