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Brief Published: 5 Jun 2015

Ikea Tracks Global Eating Habits

Connected cooking, Stockholm

Homeware giant Ikea has released its second annual Life at Home report, which focuses on eating habits around the world. The Swedish brand surveyed 8,500 consumers in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Moscow, Mumbai and Shanghai about their cooking habits. We highlight key findings from the survey.

  • Fragmented Family Dining: Reflecting conclusions in our report The Foodie Household, Ikea found that the traditional family meal is no longer realistic for many consumers. Nearly a quarter of couples with children aren't eating together as often as they would like, citing different schedules and lack of time as the main barriers. The majority of respondents also have their meals outside of the kitchen or dining room once or several times a week; 54% of Berliners don't eat at their tables at all on weeknights.
  • Urban Gardeners: Some 60% of the city dwellers surveyed grow plants in their homes. This percentage is higher in Shanghai, where three-quarters of consumers grow flowers, herbs, vegetables or fruits. In New York, people are as likely to grow vegetables at home as flowers. Almost half of those who don't grow anything would like to, but 42% lack the space to do so. For examples of new technologies that allow consumers to produce food at home, see Kitchen of the Future and Future Farming.
  • Child-Friendly Food: Ninety per cent of respondents involve their children in activities around food; 48% help to clear dishes from the table, while 40% unpack or store groceries, and 36% participate in planning meals. For insight into kid-friendly food trends, see Baby Food Grows Up and Lunchbox Innovations.
  • Digital Chefs: Technology has become an integral part of the home cooking experience. More than 60% of respondents have looked for food inspiration online, while three in 10 post food pictures or recipes or blog about food. Read more about this trend in Intelligent Food, Tech Recipes and Kitchen of the Future.
  • Tech to Connect: Respondents most commonly use social media to interact with friends or family when eating alone – and one in four 18- to 29-year-olds living alone believe that social media makes dining alone less lonely. See Future Family Dining for examples of technology being used to unite disconnected families.