A new qualitative research project, conducted by Whirlpool, carried out to mark the launch of its new SmartCook induction hob, has learnt that cooking trends in the UK are evolving to accommodate new experiences, such as a wider range of gastronomic choices and healthier eating trends, but with convenience and ease of preparation considered increasingly important.1
The in-depth study, which focused on one-to-one interviews with individuals in London and Birmingham, revealed that food is increasingly seen as a source of pleasure and self-expression in the UK. Our multicultural nature; the culture of eating out; the rise of food as a way of maximising people’s lifestyles, and the popularity of the celebrity chef have all exposed consumers to a wide variety of different cuisines and ingredients that 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.
However, despite these many changes for the better, as cooking has become more of a lifestyle activity and leisure pursuit, the study revealed that time-strapped UK households remain wedded to ready meals, with convenience a dominant factor in how we think about food.
The survey 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 in 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. Dual income families, kids with extensive after school hobbies, gym memberships and long commutes, all mean that many UK households are actively seeking ways to make their lives easier, especially during the week, with shortcuts with food taken whenever possible. It was revealed that the UK consumer shops less frequently and makes greater use of online shopping, unlike the other nations in the study, and many depend on ready meals, both fresh and frozen, that can be popped into the microwave or oven, or rely on the convenience of ready-made sauces?
With this in mind, Whirlpool is continually developing smarter cooking solutions that make great food more accessible, and pleasurable, for those who find the pressures of life mean they are unable to take time to prepare and enjoy good food. Already, Whirlpool’s unique 6th Sense® technology, available on all product categories, provides an effortless an intuitive experience, saving on resources and time, by continually monitoring and adapting the cooking process for perfect results.
Now, Whirlpool’s dedication to understanding and meeting the present and future needs of people has led to the development of innovating technologies such as the new SmartCook range of induction hobs, which offer a wide range of pre-programmed recipes that make creating those delicious dishes even more beautifully simple.
Jennifer Spragg, Senior Brand Manager, Whirlpool, says: “Whirlpool understands the busy UK consumer wants to make well informed healthy choices; eating and preparing more homemade 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 enable 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.”
For more information on all Whirlpool products, contact your account manager, or visit the website at www.whirlpool.co.uk
1 Whirlpool conducted qualitative interviews in the UK, France, Italy and Poland in February 2016. Women and men (25-50 years old) were interviewed in their homes. Research Institute: People – the research partner, Italy.