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Brits Obsessed with Foodie Social Media

Thursday Sep 29, 2016
Lewis Barbecue, Charleston, SC
Lewis Barbecue, Charleston, SC  (Source:Matthew Wexler)

A study has found that one in five Brits admit they whip up a dish in the kitchen -- just so they can show it off on social media.

Rather than cooking for the enjoyment of it, a fifth of adults admit to regularly making a nice looking meal with the sole purpose of posting it on sites such as Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.

The average adult will share at least one picture of food every week on social media, and 'like' or comment on another two. More than one in twenty even admit to posting more than six food pictures each week -- a total of 312 a year.

The study, by Lurpak as part of its movement to get people to turn their screens off and their ovens on, also found Brits spend longer looking at food on social media than actually cooking it.

More than five hours a week is spent watching cookery programs, browsing posts and videos on social media and tweeting about food, but just four hours making any meals.

Media psychologist, Emma Kenny, also analyzed more than 400 hours of food culture spanning TV, radio, Internet and social media conversations as part of the Lurpak study.


"With so much delicious food content online, there's pressure to compete on social media channels. Research by Lurpak shows however that less of us are actually cooking," says Kenny. "We're faking it -- taking pictures of food prepared by other people and missing out on the thrill and creativity of cooking!"

"We need to reassess our relationship with food. Cooking is honest and real and authenticity is good for the soul. Masterpieces can be messy just as much as picture perfect -- so let's take the pressure off and put the enjoyment back in. See how your life improves," recommends Lurpak. "That's what Lurpak's 'Game On, Cooks" initiative is all about -- encouraging people off the sofa and into the kitchen. Stop scrolling and hash-tagging and start cooking because you're not a cook until you cook."

The study of 2,000 adults found the average Brit spends one hour and 37 minutes a week watching cooking and food-related TV shows, with "The Great British Bake-Off," "MasterChef" and "Come Dine with Me" the most popular.

Another 44 minutes a week is spent engaging with food via Facebook, and another 20 minutes tweeting about it.

Foodies also browse Instagram and Pinterest for 19 minutes a week, watch cooking videos on YouTube for 34 minutes a week, and spend 58 minutes reading articles on food websites and blogs.

Finally, 15 minutes is spent snapchatting about food and nine minutes scouring recipe books each week.

In comparison, the average adult will spend just 36 minutes a day preparing and cooking food. And while seven in ten enjoy watching TV cooking shows, only half have been inspired enough to try making something they have seen on screen.

Another one in ten say it has been at least a year since they had a go at making a dish they spotted online or on TV. More than half admit they would much rather watch a dish being cooked on TV, or spend time looking at photos online, because they are too busy or think it's too complicated to try their hand at making something themselves.

Others say it's too expensive or that they just like looking at the food. But 56 per cent admit they wished they cooked the recipes they saw online more often.


Louise Goodyear, Senior Brand Manager at Lurpak, comments, "Consuming food culture is a poor substitute for the visceral experience of cooking. It seems that while the nation loves to watch, read, browse and tag food every week, few are likely to actually have a go themselves."

"Consuming all this food on screen doesn't compare to the sights, sounds and tastes of a real kitchen -- we're becoming a nation of sofa chefs!" exclaims Goodyear. "That's why we are calling on Britain to stop spectating and start cooking because you're not a cook until you cook. Game On, Cooks."

Top 5 British Foodies/Chefs on Instagram
1. Jamie Oliver - 4.9m
2. Gordon Ramsey - 1.8m
3. Joe Wicks - 1.5m
4. Ella Woodward - 953k
5. Nigella Lawson - 809k

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