What do we eat and drink at home?

Kantar Worldpanel report reveals how the UK compares globally when it comes to our eating and at-home consumption habits.
05 March 2019
kirsty cooke

Head of Digital Content

“If buying is the moment of truth, consumption is the moment of validation,” says the latest report from Kantar Worldpanel, Eat Drink & Be Healthy: How At-Home Consumption is Changing. The report shows how eating and drinking habits differ from one country to another, and the global trends that tie them together.

The UK comes out top of the list when it comes to eating at home – we do it a lot. In fact, in a given week we will have breakfast at home 5.9 times, lunch and dinner 7.4 times, and snacking 8.3 times (2018 data). That means we have a total of 21.6 “consumption moments” at home each week, which is fewer than the 22.1 we were enjoying in 2014.


Snacking is a big reason why we still have so many at-home consumption occasions, despite a huge rise in out-of-home dining. Globally, we are eating or drinking at home 36m times LESS than in 2014. But snacking has increased by 0.5% (while breakfast, lunch and dinner are down 2%). 23% of all global eating and drinking moments are snacking – and it’s especially popular in the UK. Compare our 8.3 snacking occasions per week with just 3.8 in France, 3.1 in China and 3.6 in Brazil. Luckily, it tends to be pretty healthy.

So what are we snacking on? In the mid-morning, the most popular choice in the UK is fruit (33% of occasions) – the same as every other country in the study. For mid-afternoon, it’s also fruit (25%), while in Portugal it is bread (38%) and in France it would be biscuits (22%). But while China goes for fruit again in the evening (28% of occasions), the UK would rather enjoy some chocolate (most popular at 16%).


The UK is pretty average when it comes to our morning routine. We eat breakfast at home 5.9 times per week, spend 7.4 minutes preparing it (the least time globally), and spend less than one euro each time. The highest price paid, in Spain, is 1.6 euros; Mexico spends just 30 cents but has the longest likely prep time at 18.1 minutes. 60% of UK breakfasts involve cereal.

Main meals

Health is also affecting how we prepare lunch and dinner in the UK (and beyond). A rise in flexitarianism means that 28% of UK main meals contain red meat as the primary source of protein – the lowest of all the countries in the study. It’s 56% in Brazil and France is next at 44%. 5.3 meals per week contain meat, down 5% since 2014. Saying that, “There has been a 4% drop in deep-fried dishes, with all markets apart from the UK showing decline.” Of course.

In all countries, consumers are spending less time preparing meals, with 19% of at-home main meals ‘ready-to-eat’ as opposed to homemade. That percentage is highest in the UK, at 24.7% – up 1 percentage point on 2014. Another global trend is people avoiding dessert (and snacking more during the day instead) – there are 66m fewer dessert occasions in the UK, France and Spain than there were in 2014.


Globally, there are 60m FEWER at-home beverage occasions – that is, times when we have a drink at home. Tap water consumption is on the rise while we are having fewer hot drinks; 15.5% of UK at-home beverage occasions were tap water in 2018, versus 10% in 2014. The introduction of the sugar tax, and a global trend away from carbonated soft drinks, means the UK’s at-home consumption of these beverages has decreased 5% since 2014 (8.1% of all occasions).

To find out more about how you can win a ‘share of stomach’, download the full report here.

Source : Kantar Worldpanel

Editor's notes

Kantar Worldpanel’s Usage Food and Beverage service covers packaged foods, fresh foods and beverages, and is an open door to consumers’ kitchens and cupboards. Through at-home consumption diaries – which are linked to our purchasing panels – Kantar Worldpanel can see how consumers prepare menus, what specific ingredients they choose and why, how habits change over time, what the most valuable occasions are and how products compete with one another.

Data is gathered across the UK, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Mainland China, France, Brazil and the US.