Eating patterns and behaviours inside the home in Scotland 2021

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This report summarises insights into eating patterns and behaviours inside the home, in Scotland, during 2021. The results have been compared with information on reported behaviours before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, and afterwards in 2021. This data was provided by Kantar, a market research company who collect information on how often food and drink is consumed in the home, alongside information such as when, where and why.

The data refers to food and drink consumed inside the home and includes takeaways which are delivered direct to the home, and any food prepared inside the home which is then ‘carried out’ of the home for consumption.

Key findings

  • In 2021, the number of eating and drinking occasions inside the home decreased by 2% compared to 2020. However, this was still higher than in 2019.
  • Eating lunch at home increased as a result of the pandemic, and this continued into 2021.
  • Enjoyment and practicality were the most important motivators of consumption inside the home during 2021. Health was seen as a less important motivator and has declined since 2019.
  • The average amount of time spent preparing lunch and evening meals combined was 22.7 minutes in 2021. This was a slight decline since 2019.
  • Assembled meals, which involves bringing together multiple items on a plate, remains the most prominent type of food preparation method, accounting for 73.3% of main meals in 2021.
  • Meals which were vegan or vegetarian accounted for 18% and 26% of main meals inside the home meals during 2021.

This report complements and adds to existing FSS data on monitoring trends in food purchasing and consumption behaviours. This data forms part of the FSS dietary monitoring programme and will be used to support and policy development, and public health communications and consumer advice.