Whirlpool has conducted a survey to mark the launch of its new SmartCook induction hob, which has discovered that cooking trends in the UK are evolving.
The home appliance manufacturer conducted interviews in the UK, France, Italy and Poland in February with women and men aged 25 to 50.
The UK interviews, which were held with individuals in London and Birmingham, revealed that food is increasingly seen as a source of pleasure and self-expression here.
The culture of eating out and the popularity of celebrity chefs have exposed consumers to a wide variety of different cuisines and ingredients, which they want to replicate at home. These have contributed to a cultural shift that sees the preparation of food in the UK as an opportunity for experimentation and discovery. Whirlpool claims.
But the survey also revealed that cooking has become more of a lifestyle activity and leisure pursuit, with time-strapped UK households remain wedded to ready meals, and convenience a dominant factor.
The study highlighted the fact that the typical UK kitchen is a busy place where everything happens. The rise of open plan living has been reflected in a preference for spaces where you can cook, eat and entertain – and for families, the kitchen is often a place where children do their homework, play, or watch TV, while someone is also cooking.
Even though there is a clear growing passion for the expressive side of cooking, the reality of daily life means that food often has to play a supporting role, the company asserts.
Dual income families, kids with extensive after school hobbies, and long commutes, mean that many UK households are actively seeking ways to make their lives easier, especially during the week, with shortcuts taken with food whenever possible.
It was revealed that unlike other nations covered in the report, UK consumers shop less frequently, make greater use of online shopping, and many depend on ready meals, both fresh and frozen, or rely on the convenience of ready-made sauces.
With this in mind, Whirlpool has developed the new SmartCook range of induction hobs, which offer a wide range of pre-programmed recipes, along with 6th Sense technology. This is available on all its product categories and provides an ‘intuitive experience’, by continually monitoring and adapting the cooking process for better results.
Whirlpool senior brand manager Jennifer Spragg said: “Whirlpool understands the busy UK consumer wants to make well informed healthy choices; eating and preparing more home-made food, including more fresh fruit and vegetables, but that the pressures of life mean this is not always easy.
“Whirlpool appliances are the perfect solution: intelligent technology, such as 6th Sense, and the new smart technology, 6th Sense Live, offer users useful time-saving benefits that enables them to juggle busy lives. With intuitive technology that allows for convenience and simplicity of use integrated into every Whirlpool appliance, consumers can make the most of their time, both in and out of the kitchen.”