The YouGov Food Study

Milan DinicResearch Manager
April 20, 2022, 9:26 AM GMT+0

A new YouGov study in our Big Surveys project is focused on the topic of food. We analysed what Britons think about food and what their eating habits and preferences are.

We looked into what type of diet Britons have, how often they eat particular foods, what their favourite cuisines and beverages and ‘junk foods’ are, and what drinks they have daily. We also looked at what impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the eating habits of Britons.

The study is divided into seven parts:

Part One: General attitudes towards food and eating

Part Two: What kind of food do Britons eat regularly?

Part Three: Favourite cuisines and junk food

Part Four: Food practices

Part Five: Drinking habits and preferences

Part Six: Alcohol consumption

Part Seven: The impact of COVID-19 on food habits

Here are the top 10 things we learnt about Britons and their attitudes towards food:

  1. Three-quarters of Britons (75%) eat meat, with this applying more to men (82%) than women (69%). Six percent describe themselves as vegetarian, and a further 11% say they are flexitarian. The younger Britons are, the less likely are they to eat meat: 95% of those over 60 eat meat, compared to 75% of those aged 16-24
  2. Eight in ten Britons (82%) say they often pay attention to what they eat. Women are significantly more likely than men to pay ‘a lot of attention’ to the amount of processed food they eat (35% vs 23%), how much water they drink (33% vs 23%) and their intake of vegetables (32% vs 21%)
  3. Half of Britons (51%) say that taste is most important when it comes to food, twice as many who say that the most relevant factor is how healthy the food is (24%). Four in ten Britons (40%) consider themselves to be fussy eaters, with 10% saying they are ‘very fussy’
  4. A third (33%) report that they have grown some of their own food. One in five Britons (21%) buy organic food very or fairly often
  5. Vegetables and dairy are the most consumed foods among Britons, with seven in ten having them daily. Half of Britons (52%) eat fruit daily and four in ten (39%) have sweets at least once a day
  6. Italian food tops the list of favourite cuisines, liked by half (51%) of Britons. This is followed by Chinese food (46%) and British (43%). Indian is liked by four in ten Britons (41%)
  7. Seven percent of people in the UK eat ‘junk food’ every day. A further four in ten (40%) eat convenience food at least once a week. One in eight Britons (12%) say they don’t eat junk food
  8. Three-quarters of Britons (74%) drink a cup of tea at least once a week. The older Britons are, the more likely they are to drink considerably more tea. Seven in ten Britons drink coffee. Eight in ten drink alcohol, including 10% who say they have an alcoholic drink on five or more days a week
  9. More Britons report that the quality of their diet has improved (24%) rather than worsened (16%) since the coronavirus pandemic began. Younger Britons – those aged 16-24 – are the most likely to say that their diet has improved
  10. While before the pandemic a third (33%) were unlikely to share their food with a friend, this has now gone up to four in ten (41%)

See full results here