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BBC Good Food Nation survey 2021: how we eat now

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Welcome to our BBC Good Food Nation survey. We surveyed UK adults and children about their eating habits to build a fascinating picture of how the nation eats in 2021. Read on to discover key trends and our common passions, plus what's in and what's out.

Our annual BBC Good Food Nation survey always throws up surprising results, and we've had another whirlwind 12 months. Our 2021 results highlight new habits picked up during lockdown, a rise in eco-conscious kids and more social media foodie-ism than ever before. We've compiled the standout statistics and included tips and resources if the results inspire you to shake up your own food habits.

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Cutting food waste

How to cut food waste

From our survey, 23% of respondents say they have reduced the levels of food waste in their house in the last year. Post-pandemic, people intend to continue trying to reduce food waste as much as possible, including shopping locally and planning their meals in advance. On average*, respondents who intend to continue reducing the levels of food waste in their household intend to continue doing this for at least five years. Learn how to reduce food waste in your own kitchen with our top cooking hacks and prep tips. Meal prep recipes are also a great way to make sure you're using up all your ingredients and no scrap goes to waste.

More ways to cut food waste:

How to reduce food packaging waste
Leftover recipes: How to reduce food waste
How to use up fruit & vegetable scraps

No more sharing

Sharing platter with vegetables and crackers

Over half (53%) of Brits surveyed agree that they think the pandemic has made people less comfortable with sharing food. Sharing platters and party buffets might be taking a back seat for the moment, but we predict smaller dinner parties are here to stay.

More kitchen kit

Cappuccino in cup on table

Over half (52%) of Brits have bought new cooking or kitchen equipment in the last year, with coffee machines being the most popular piece of kit (13%). Read our review of the best coffee machines 2021 for the lowdown on the top coffee kit, tried and tested. Then, why not test out your kit with our favourite coffee recipes? Over a third (35%) of Brits surveyed agree they do not have enough space in their kitchen to accommodate their new appliances.

The best kitchen kit reviewed:

12 of the best bean-to-cup coffee machines
10 of the best air fryers for chips and more
The best stand mixers for baking lovers

Healthy cooking is here to stay

Pork souvlaki with lettuce and pitta bread on plate

Over a quarter (27%) of Brits surveyed now place more importance on their health through the way they eat since the start of the pandemic. Get inspired with out best ever healthy dinner recipes and discover how to exercise for free with our tips on how to get active. If you're trying to develop some good habits, check out our top 10 tips for working from home, including nutritious lunch ideas and simple exercise tips.

Healthy recipe inspiration:

Top 10 healthy meal ideas
Top 10 healthy meals for kids
Healthy batch cooking recipes
Healthy dinner ideas for two

Less time in the aisles

Supermarket shopping basket with produce

Over three in 10 (32%) Brits surveyed have been going to the supermarket less since the pandemic. Just under a quarter (24%) of Brits surveyed said their food bills have increased since the pandemic. If you're looking for thrifty dinner ideas, try our budget recipes for pocket-friendly family meals you can whip up using storecupboard ingredients. Check out our top 10 budget food buys and stock up your kitchen with key versatile ingredients.

Budget recipe ideas: 

10 easy budget family meals
Budget supermarket swap recipes
One week of budget-friendly dinners

Happy hour at home

Passionfruit martinis in glasses

One in seven (14%) Brits surveyed have been making their own cocktails at home since the pandemic began. It's easier than you might think to whip up easy cocktails in the comfort of your own kitchen. It can be as simple as our genius two-ingredient cocktails, which look impressive, taste great and don't require a laundry list of equipment. Watch our video tutorial, follow along and learn how to make an espresso martini with our resident cocktail expert Miriam Nice. If you're entertaining and don't want to miss out on any classic drinks, check out our top 10 most popular cocktail recipes.

More cocktail creations:

Fruity cocktail recipes
20 easy cocktails to make at home
The best cocktail shakers
8 top gifts and sets for cocktail lovers, 2021

Bumper birthdays

Vegan birthday cake

More than a third of Brits surveyed (37%) plan to celebrate a missed birthday that fell during the pandemic. If you missed out on celebrating with friends and family, it's never too late to break out the cake. Feed a crowd with our top party food recipes and celebration cakes for special occasions. Perk up any party with a showstopping bake.

Birthday party ideas:

Birthday cake recipes
Top 10 birthday cakes for adults
Birthday ideas for kids at home
Easy birthday cakes for kids

Keeping it small this Christmas

Christmas turkey crown and roast dinner on table

Around 36% of Brits surveyed plan to celebrate Christmas with a small celebration that includes only immediate family. We have Christmas recipes to suit every family gathering, whether you're feeding the masses or just your nearest and dearest. If you're looking for a Christmas menu for two or sensational turkey crown recipes for smaller crowds, we have you covered.

More Christmas party plates...

Budget Christmas recipes
Top 5 easiest ever Christmas dinners
Christmas menu ideas

How children are eating in 2021

  • During the pandemic 50% children made their own breakfast, 46% their own lunch and 26% their own dinner.
  • Two-thirds of children surveyed said helping to save the planet has become more important to them since the pandemic began.
  • 59% of children surveyed practiced their baking skills during the pandemic, while 42% of children surveyed said they had drawn inspiration from Youtube and 25% from TikTok.
  • Just under four in five children surveyed are allowed to cook at home.
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What do you think of our survey findings? We’d love to hear how you compare.

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