Waitrose has taken a snapshot of Christmas 2014, polling over 1,000 people on their key decisions this festive season.
In the survey, conducted by the grocery chain this week, a whopping 81% revealed that taste comes top of the tree at Christmas.
The study also revealed that the provenance of food has continued to grow in importance over the past few years, with over 78% of people preferring to buy British over Christmas , where available. 39% said they will have all their Christmas food shopping done and dusted by December 21, with only 3% relying on a final Christmas Eve trolley dash. 22% of the nation will be sitting down to tuck into their Christmas dinner at 2pm, with 14% opting for a later sitting of 3pm.
Encouraged by popular cooking programmes, we appear to have become a nation of keen amateur cooks, with 58% of those questioned saying they will cook everything from scratch for their Christmas dinner this year, with only 10% passing off readymade dishes as homemade.
Turkey is still the preferred main meal, with 65% sticking with the traditional turkey dinner this year. 8% will buy beef and another 8% will choose chicken.
The biggest kitchen concern for the big day focuses on the main ingredient – turkey – with 33% worried that it will be too dry, 26% fearing it will be overcooked, 23% fretting that it will be underdone and 10% admitting they are most anxious that the bird may not even fit in the oven. One of the highlights of Boxing Day is the leftover turkey sandwiches, with over 63% serving them up to family and friends.
Waitrose executive chef Jonathan Moore said: “Our survey revealed that people worry most about cooking the turkey on Christmas Day. My advice is to keep things simple and prepare all your vegetables and trimmings the day before, so you can focus on the turkey. When you’re catering for lots of friends and family, a time and sequence list is also essential – and don’t be afraid to involve your guests!”